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Experts highlight Deng's strategy in handling territorial dispute

English.news.cn   2012-09-13 21:45:50            

TIANJIN, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese and Japanese governments should set their disputes aside in the manner proposed by late leader Deng Xiaoping while tackling tensions concerning the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, experts said at the ongoing Summer Davos forum being held in north China's city of Tianjin.

The Japanese cabinet on Monday announced a decision to purchase part of the Diaoyu Islands from the Kurihara family, despite repeated objections from China.

The move has resulted in extensive protests in China calling for the revocation of the deal.

Professor Chung-in Moon from Seoul's Yonsei University said Deng's guidelines are still applicable now, adding that both sides must calm down before they can find a peaceful solution.

Both sides agreed in 1978 to put the issue aside and solve it in the future, using a guideline described as "laying aside disputes and engaging in joint exploitation" to solve territorial issues with neighboring countries.

Although Japan's national government previously kept the situation stable by preventing the local government from taking action, the country cannot afford to fight with China about the issue, as China is the country's biggest trade partner, said Yoichi Funabashi, chairman of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, a Tokyo think tank.

Professor Meng Wan from the Beijing Foreign Studies University's Law School said both sides should cool their dispute and focus on regional cooperation and economic integration.

"If trust and cooperation can be built, then the dispute will become a trivial issue," Prof. Moon said.

Prof. Moon also urged the Japanese government to be more honest and inform its public regarding the historical background of its disputes with neighboring countries.

George Yong-boon Yeo, a visiting scholar at the National University of Singapore, said social media play an important role in the dispute, as public sentiment on both sides has caused both governments to make harsh moves.

Prof. Moon also addressed the influence of social media and stressed that governments should "cultivate the online consciousness" and encourage people to use such media in a "self-restrained way."

Government leaders should spend more time managing external public relations and communicating with the citizens of other countries in order to make their policies better understood, Yeo said.

Editor: Chen Zhi
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