日中首脳会談 「中国異質論」強めた10分懇談

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 1, 2010)
China's erratic moves make relations difficult
日中首脳会談 「中国異質論」強めた10分懇談(10月31日付・読売社説)

Isn't it important for the leaders of Japan and China to sit and talk in search of a breakthrough, especially at a time when their countries' relationship has gone sour?

It is extremely regrettable that the leaders' "conversation" ended in just 10 minutes.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had a spontaneous informal meeting in a waiting room at the East Asia Summit in Hanoi on Saturday. During the brief meeting, the two leaders affirmed their continued efforts to promote strategic, mutually beneficial relations, but the discussion itself was rather superficial.

At a press conference later in the day, Kan said he believes that Japan and China will be able to maintain their friendly relationship although various events have occurred between the two nations. However, it is undeniable that things turned out contrary to his initial expectations.

Diplomatic zigzags

On Friday morning, the Japanese and Chinese foreign ministers arranged for a Kan-Wen meeting to be held that night. However, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue announced China's rejection of the Japan-proposed summit meeting at the very last minute.

As a reason for China's rejection of the summit meeting, Hu touched on the issue of the Senkaku Islands and said Japan had colluded with other countries to exacerbate the issue. He also accused Japan of having distorted China's stance of honoring a common understanding between the two nations on the East China Sea issue in its statements about the content of the meeting between the Japanese and Chinese foreign ministers.

In saying "colluded with other countries," Beijing apparently referred to a Japan-U.S. meeting of foreign ministers on Wednesday, at which U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton clearly stated that the Senkaku Islands are subject to the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, which obligates the United States to defend Japan. However, the remark is nothing new.

In saying "having distorted China's stance," China apparently referred to a report by the French news service AFP, which said Japan and China had agreed during the foreign ministers' meeting to resume negotiations for a treaty on development of natural gas fields in the East China Sea. However, AFP issued a correction to the inaccurate report.

Flimsy pretexts to cancel

We cannot help but say these are extremely poor reasons for canceling summit diplomacy. The impression is inescapable that China avoided the meeting by citing reasons that cannot be reasons, one after another, for fear of a backlash from hard-liners in China.

China's rejection of the latest proposed summit meeting has only strengthened the impression that the country is difficult to deal with.

China accepted the informal meeting that finally did occur, though it was a mere 10 minutes, apparently because Beijing is concerned that it would become isolated internationally if its continued rejection of an official summit meeting fed the perception that China is alien to the rest of world.

Chinese President Hu Jintao will visit Japan in mid-November to attend the meeting of the leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

China must not repeat this kind of behavior. We hope Beijing will accept an official summit meeting and tangibly demonstrate "mutually beneficial" relations by resuming negotiations for a treaty on development of the natural gas fields in the East China Sea, which it unilaterally suspended, and normalizing its rare earths exports to Japan.

It is essential for Japan to maintain its stance to accept a dialogue with China any time and calmly respond to the situation.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 31, 2010)
(2010年10月31日01時17分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2010-11-01 05:00 | 英字新聞

<< ベトナム原発 受注の成功を次に... 非正社員賃上げ―公正な分配へ具体化を >>