7:54 am - Thursday December 14, 2017

China summons Japanese ambassador over air defense zone accusations

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China summons Japanese ambassador over air defense zone accusations
China summons Japanese ambassador over air defense zone accusations

BEIJING – A senior Chinese diplomat on Monday lodged representation with the Japanese ambassador to China over Tokyo’s response to China’s announcement of its air defense identification zone.

Assistant Chinese Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang on Monday summoned the Japanese ambassador Kitera Masato and lodged solemn representations over Japan’s unreasonable accusations regarding China’s East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone, which was established on Saturday, a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

The Chinese government’s establishment of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone aims to defend China’s national sovereignty and its territorial and airspace security, as well as safeguard the flight order over the East China Sea, Zheng said, stressing that the zone accords with international law and practice.

More than 20 countries, including Japan, have set up air defense identification zones since the 1950s, Zheng said.

Stressing that Diaoyu Island and its surrounding islets are an inherent part of the Chinese territory, Zheng said it is natural for China’s East China Sea Air Defense Identification zone to cover the area.

“The Japanese side is not entitled to make irresponsible remarks and malicious accusations against China,” Zheng said, urging Japan to immediately correct its mistakes, stop any acts that create frictions and undermine regional stability, and avoid further damage to China-Japan relations.

Also on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang urged Japan to make efforts to resolve the issue through dialogue and negotiations.

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