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US hopes China, Japan resolve row peacefully
http://www.asyura2.com/09/china02/msg/491.html
投稿者 ジリノフスキー松田 日時 2010 年 9 月 19 日 18:59:09: YsYC0m30wm2Rw
 

– Fri Sep 17, 12:45 pm ET (AFP通信)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100917/pl_afp/chinajapanmaritimeincidentdiplomacyus

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States on Friday voiced hope that China and Japan peacefully resolve a worsening territorial dispute and urged all nations to respect international rules.

Michele Flournoy, the under secretary of defense for policy, said all sides should "try to be careful to avoid incidents that could inadvertently escalate."

"We seek to resolve these disputes through direct talks between the countries involved and in a peaceful manner," Flournoy said at a seminar of the National Bureau for Asian Research.

The United States wants to "make sure that as we have forces that are operating in the vicinity of one another, we all respect the rules of the road that are out there."

Tensions have flared between Asia's two largest economies since a Chinese fishing trawler and two Japanese coastguard vessels collided on September 7 near a disputed island chain between Taiwan and Japan's Okinawa island.

China has summoned Japan's ambassador five times, demanded the release of the boat's captain and scrapped talks on joint exploration of a gas field near the disputed islands.

The United States is a longstanding ally of Japan and stations nearly 50,000 troops in the country, half of them in Okinawa.

President Barack Obama's administration has sought a cooperative relationship with Beijing, although military relations between the US and Chinese are fraught with mistrust.

Flournoy was optimistic about building defense ties with China.

"Recently we have received signals from the Chinese that they are interested in resuming our (military-to-military) relationship and we are actively engaged now in laying out how to do that," she said.

China in January snapped defense exchanges with the United States and threatened to punish US companies after the Obama administration approved a 6.4 billion-dollar weapons package for Taiwan, which is claimed by Beijing.

The United States does not recognize Taiwan -- where China's defeated nationalists fled in 1949 after losing the mainland's civil war -- but is bound by congressional action to ensure that the island can defend itself.

Flournoy was non-committal on further arms sales, saying: "We continue to review our support for Taiwan."

"We are very supportive of any reduction in cross-Strait tensions (and) we continue to appreciate Taiwan's self-defense needs," she said.

The January package included anti-missile systems, mine-sweepers and combat helicopters but not F-16 fighter-jets, which Taiwan says are vital to curbing China's military edge over the island.

Representative Ed Royce, a Republican from California, called this week for the United States to agree to the F-16 request, saying that for cross-Strait relations to improve, Taiwan needs to come "from a position of strength."  

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