Territorial disputes should be settled peacefully through bilateral dialogue and discussion, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.
Qin’s comments, posted on the ministry’s website today, were in response to a question from an unidentified journalist about China’s view on comments made in Jakarta yesterday by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe regarding Japan’s relations with the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations.
“We hope that Japan will follow the historical trend, take responsibility and make efforts toward stability and development in Asia,” Qin said.
At a press conference in Jakarta with Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Abe said “the seas are a common resource protected by the rule of law, not power, and Japan along with ASEAN countries, will protect this with all our strength.”
China is involved in a territorial dispute with Japan over islands in the East China Sea known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese. China also has disputes with Vietnam and the Philippines, which are members of ASEAN.