China's Xi will not meet Japan's Abe amid islands row

5th September 2013, Comments 0 comments

There are no plans for Chinese President Xi Jinping to hold a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G20 summit, a Chinese spokesman said Thursday, adding that China was not to blame for current 'difficulties' between the two east Asian powers.

"There are difficulties between China and Japan relations at the moment. Responsibility does not lie with China," said Qin Gang, spokesman of the Chinese delegation at the G20.

There are "no plans to hold bilats with Abe," said Qin.

The two nations are at loggerheads over outcrops in the East China Sea controlled by Tokyo, which calls them the Senkaku islands, and claimed by Beijing, which knows them as the Diaoyus.

"China's position on Diaoyu is clear. The islands belong to China," said Qin.

"The differences in views should be effectively managed through consultations. Unfortunately, China's reasonable proposals have not been met with proper responses from Japan," he said.

Beijing's vessels regularly patrol the waters around the islands, prompting accusations of territorial violations by Tokyo, and political relations between them are dire.

Qin also raised concerns over what he called the tendency of some right-wing extremists in Japan to deny the country's invasion of China in the 1930s.

Qin added that relations between the two countries are "very important" but stressed that China hopes that Japan "will take concrete measures to improve ties".

Abe this year broke with two decades of tradition by omitting any expression of remorse over Japan's past aggression in Asia on the anniversary of its World War II surrender.

Shinzo Abe's speech in August avoided typical words such as "profound remorse" and "sincere mourning" used by his predecessors to atone for those who suffered as the Imperial Japanese Army stormed across east Asia.

© 2013 AFP

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