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China must use sea power in 'peaceful manner': Japan

Published on Nov 8, 2012 3:54 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - Beijing must use its sea power in a "peaceful manner", Japan said on 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 Mr Hu told the Communist Party congress that Beijing should "resolutely safeguard China's maritime rights and interests, and build China into a maritime power", Ms 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.

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