U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton stood with Japan’s Foreign Minister on Friday and said that America opposed “any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration” of the Diaoyu Islands, comments that drew sharp criticism from China on Sunday. From Bloomberg:
Clinton’s comments last week “are ignorant of facts,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said yesterday in comments posted on the ministry’s website. The U.S. can’t be “held hostage” by Japan in the conflict, a commentary in China’s People’s Daily newspaper today said. Three Chinese marine surveillance ships entered Japanese-administered waters today, the Coast Guard said in a statement.
China expresses “firm discontent,” Qin said. “We urge the U.S. side to adopt a responsible attitude in regard to the issue of the Diaoyu islands.” While Japan won’t make any concessions on the issue, it will “respond calmly” so as not to provoke China, Kishida told reporters after meeting Clinton.
In an unsigned commentary today, the Xinhua News Agency said it was “exceedingly wrong” for Clinton to make the comments about Japan’s administration of the islands.
Jane Perlez of The New York Times reported that the Chinese military also took a hawkish tone with indirect warnings in its media mouthpieces:
The reports did not refer directly to Japan, but more broadly echoed a recent declaration by the new Communist Party leader, Xi Jinping, that the Chinese military could not rest on its laurels after a long period of peace.
The People’s Liberation Army Daily, a military newspaper, said Sunday in a front-page article that a “long period without battle has encouraged the fixed habits of peace in some of the military so that their preparedness for battle is dulled.”
The newspaper said that some troops had recently conducted exercises in the Beijing military region.
Read more about the Diaoyu Islands dispute via CDT.