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    Japan FM's remarks on Taiwan condemned
Le Tian
2006-03-10 05:57

The Foreign Ministry lodged a protest against remarks made by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso yesterday, which called Taiwan a law-abiding "country."

This was the latest of Aso's recent remarks on Taiwan that challenges Beijing's one-China principle.

"We are shocked at the remarks that were delivered by Japan's top diplomat," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin said.

According to Japan's Jiji Press news agency, Aso told a parliamentary committee yesterday that Taiwan is "a law-governed country, as its democracy is fairly mature and liberalism has taken root in its economy."

The spokesman also urged Japan not to use the row with China on gas exploration in the East China Sea to divert attention from top Japanese leaders' repeated visits to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine.

"It will not benefit bilateral relations and will not contribute to solving the problem," Qin told a regular news briefing.

Qin said China can not accept Japan's proposal to divide the zones through the "median line" for solving the gas dispute as it stems from Japan's unilateral position.

The Japanese demarcation principle is something that "China has never accepted, nor will accept in the future," he said.

China tabled a "rational, reasonable and constructive plan" during bilateral talks in Beijing on Monday and Tuesday, Qin said. "We hope Japan can carefully study the plan proposed by China."

Based on the "continental shelf" principle, Beijing insists it has rights to marine resources east of the median line, to the edge of the continental shelf near Japan's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa.

(China Daily 03/10/2006 page2)


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