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Commentary: U.S. sends wrong signal over Diaoyu Islands issue

English.news.cn   2013-01-21 00:29:48            
 Hillary Clinton claimed the Diaoyu Islands were under the administrative authority of Japan Friday.
 • The comments were ignorant of essential historical facts and int'l law, indiscriminating of rights and wrongs.
 • Washington should  adopt a responsible attitude in regard to the issue of the Diaoyu Islands.


BEIJING, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday claimed that the Diaoyu Islands were under the administrative authority of Japan, and therefore the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty applies to it.

Clinton also said the United States opposed "any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration." Her words showed explicit U.S. endorsement of Japan over the Diaoyu Islands issue, sending a mixed and wrong signal and adding fuel to the matter.

It was exceedingly wrong for Clinton, a senior U.S. governmental official in charge of American foreign affairs, to make such comments when meeting in Washington with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

Firstly, Clinton's comments were ignorant of essential historical facts and international law, and indiscriminate of rights and wrongs. Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets have been part of China's inherent territories since ancient times.

China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands whether on the aspects of history, geography and legal principle.

However, the U.S. arbitrarily placed the Diaoyu Islands under its administration in the 1950s and transferred the so-called "administrative authority" to Japan in the 1970s.

The two countries' backroom deals over the islands have seriously violated China's territorial sovereignty and sowed seeds for future disputes over the territory.

The U.S. has an unshirkable historical responsibility on the Diaoyu Islands issue. However, instead of retrospecting history, the country has made mistakes repeatedly.

Secondly, Clinton's words indicated the chaotic U.S. foreign policies. It would embolden right-wing forces in Japan and intensify tensions between China and Japan.

Not long before, Washington had still seemed to remain cautious when dealing with the issue of the Diaoyu Islands. The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported that Kurt Campbell, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, recently issued a subtle but clear message to Japan, suggesting that Tokyo tone down its rhetoric and actions in its dispute with Beijing.

In addition, The Journal said Campbell "maintained a neutral tone in describing the situation."

However, Clinton's recent remarks have indicated clearly that the U.S. stance on the issue was contradictory.

Clinton's comments would be seen as backing Japan's rightwingers, making it more complicated to solve the issue.

Thirdly, Clinton's remarks actually jeopardized the national interests of the U.S. Since America unveiled its "pivot to Asia" strategy, what it would do reflects its Asian-Pacific strategy.

Will it help promote regional security and prosperity and thus be able to share the results of economic development of the region? Or will it add fuel to the flames and become a troublemaker?

The irresponsible U.S. remarks concerning the Diaoyu Islands will worsen, rather than relieve the tension over the issue.

With intensified tension and deteriorated security within the region, no less the prospect of reviving militarism in Japan, the security and economic recovery of the U.S. would be largely affected. It is unwise for the politicians to act shortsightedly.

Instead of pursuing immediate interests, Washington should take its general relations with China into consideration and adopt a responsible attitude in regard to the issue of the Diaoyu Islands.

Related:

Commentary: U.S. endorsement of right-leaning Japan jeopardizes regional security

BEIJING, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- The United States pledged Friday stronger security ties with Tokyo's new right-leaning administration and lent veiled support to Japan in the Diaoyu Islands dispute.

After a closed-door meeting with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed the U.S. alliance with Japan as "the cornerstone of American engagement with the region." Full story

Japan creating Diaoyu Islands tension: China FM

BEIJING, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry Friday accused Japan of creating tensions over the Diaoyu Islands, running against the trend of solving disputes through talks.

"The Japanese side has continued to take negative acts on the Diaoyu Islands issue for a period of time, and organized its Self Defense Force planes to interrupt Chinese planes' normal flights," Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing here. Full story

Editor: Bi Mingxin
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