China must use sea power in 'peaceful manner': Japan
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
TOKYO, Nov 8: Beijing must use its sea power in a "peaceful manner", Japan said Thursday, after President Hu Jintao staked a claim for China to become a maritime force.
"It is not surprising to hear leaders in (China) speak about their intention to engage in maritime activities," a Japanese foreign ministry spokeswoman said. "But those activities must be carried out in a peaceful manner based on international law."
Hours after Hu told the Communist Party congress that Beijing should "resolutely safeguard China´s maritime rights and interests, and build China into a maritime power", Naoko Saiki, deputy press secretary at the foreign ministry, said it needed to be "responsible".
"Both Japan and China are equally responsible for the maintenance and enhancement of peace, stability and prosperity in the region, including maritime order," she said.
"I think China must be a responsible member of the international community."
Beijing and Tokyo are at loggerheads over the sovereignty of an uninhabited island chain in the East China Sea.
Chinese government ships have loitered around the Tokyo-administered Senkaku islands, which Beijing calls the Diaoyus, for weeks sending diplomatic temperatures soaring between Asia´s two largest economies.