China, Japan hold first face-to-face consultation on maritime affairs since 2019

2023-04-11 08:58:31Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China reiterated its stance in the Taiwan question as well as East and South China Sea issues during its 15th round of high-level consultations on maritime affairs with Japan in Tokyo on Monday. The meeting came as Japan said it is closely following PLA's exercises around Taiwan after regional leader Tsai Ing-wen's meeting with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California.

The two sides held a plenary meeting and three working group meetings on maritime defense, maritime law enforcement and security, and marine economy, and conducted broad and in-depth exchanges of views on maritime issues, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced Monday.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship. The two sides should follow the important consensus between the leaders of the two countries, review the spirit of the treaty, deal with divergences in maritime affairs via dialogue and strengthen practical cooperation in maritime fields, according to the foreign ministry.

Observers see it as the latest move by the two sides to implement the bilateral consensus reached by the two countries' leaders during their meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Bangkok, Thailand.

As vital powers in the region and the international community, it is crucial for China and Japan to discuss concerns over maritime affairs candidly, and jointly figure out ways to prevent crises and avoid misjudgment while promoting regional stability and cooperation, according to Da Zhigang, director of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies at the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences.

It is their first face-to-face meeting under the mechanism since 2019. It came about one week after China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang's talks with Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi in Beijing on March 2, during which the two sides agreed to promote bilateral ties amid a turbulent world.

The consultation also came as China holds military exercises for three consecutive days encircling the island of Taiwan. The exercises came after the provocative meeting between Taiwan regional leader Tsai Ing-wen and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy during Tsai's "transit" in the US and featured mock fire strikes on targets on the island for the first time.

Japan has been following PLA's drills around Taiwan consistently and "with great interest," a senior government spokesperson said on Monday, Reuters reported.

During the meetings on Monday, the Chinese side reiterated its position on the East China Sea, Diaoyu Islands and South China Sea issues and the Taiwan question given Japan's recent negative remarks concerning these issues. China also urged Japan to stop all acts that violate China's sovereignty, stop taking actions that may complicate the situation, and avoid any interference into the Taiwan question, the ministry said.

China also expressed its concern over Japan's plan to dump nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean, urging Japan to take into account the legitimate concerns of the international community, and to handle the issue in an open, transparent, scientific, and safe manner, with a responsible attitude toward the marine environment and human health.

Japan is just blowing up the China threat in terms of regional security issues in order to pursue its ultimate aim [of remilitarization], Da noted. After all, the Taiwan question is purely China's internal affair and Japan does not have the right to interfere in it under any pretext, he added.

China and Japan reached consensus on speeding up the construction of the direct telephone line connection under the maritime and air liaison mechanism of both countries' defense sectors to safeguard maritime security.

The two sides also agreed to enhance cooperation in carrying out joint maritime search and rescue exercises, jointly combating cross-border maritime crimes and illegal fishing as well as dealing with maritime plastic waste.

Both sides have also agreed in principle to hold the 16th round of high-level consultations on China-Japan maritime affairs within this year in China.


Most popular in 24h

MoreTop news


Back to top About Us | Jobs | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1999-2023 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
[网上传播视听节目许可证(0106168)] [京ICP证040655号]
[京公网安备 11010202009201号] [京ICP备05004340号-1]