China dismisses Japan plan to buy disputed islands

BEIJING Sun Jul 8, 2012 12:18am EDT

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Foreign Ministry said it would continue to take "necessary measures" to safeguard its sovereignty over a number of disputed islands in the East China Sea after Japan said it was considering a plan to "buy" them from private landowners.

The uninhabited islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, have long been the centre of maritime territorial disputes between China and its neighbors, all of which cite historical and other claims over fishing areas and potentially rich gas deposits.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said on Saturday that the government was considering buying the islands, situated in potentially gas rich territory claimed by both Japan and China, in a move likely to anger Beijing.

"No one will ever be permitted to buy and sell China's sacred territory," Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said in a statement issued late on Saturday on the ministry's website, www.mfa.gov.cn.

"China will continue to take necessary measures to firmly uphold its sovereignty over the Diaoyu island and its affiliated islands,"

Liu reiterated the islands had been part of Chinese territory since ancient times and China's sovereignty over them was grounded in an indisputable historical and legal basis.

Earlier this year, Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara proposed using public funds to buy the islands from private owners, prompting Beijing to denounce the plan as illegal and reassert its sovereignty.

Diplomatic ties between Beijing and Tokyo hit a low point in 2010 after Japan's arrest of a Chinese fishing boat captain.

In 2008, Beijing and Tokyo agreed in principle to jointly develop gas fields near the islands, but progress has been slow and Japan has accused China of drilling for gas in violation of the deal.

(Reporting By Xiaoyi Shao and David Stanway; Editing by Ron Popeski)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (14)
Pterosaur wrote:
China only needs to caution the potential buyers that it won’t recongnize the transaction. That simple! No dumb buyer would buy it except the Japanese imperialists themselves.

Jul 08, 2012 4:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
RoaringFish wrote:
What has this got to do with China? The islands are not Chinese, they belong to a Japanese citizen, who may sell them to the Japanese government.

The siver lining in the cloud of Chinese expansism, claiming on no basis whatsoever that just about every island in SEA is theirs, is that everybody, including SEA, can now see China for what it is. A threat that needs to be contained.

Personally, I think the Japanese should buy those islands, militarise them, and put a missile through the next Chinese ship that intrudes.

Jul 08, 2012 7:38am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Pterosaur wrote:
Sure, why not lend it to the US as a military base.

Those actions are for imperialists. And of course, there are in both the US and Japan.

But if someone wants to talk with reasons: those islands are Chinese, with all the proofs anyone could ask for.

Jul 08, 2012 9:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.