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China slams Japan's Abe over interview comments

Published on Feb 22, 2013 1:12 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - China has slammed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for telling a US newspaper that Beijing had a "deeply ingrained" need to challenge its neighbours over territory, state media said on Friday.

Abe, visiting the United States for talks with President Barack Obama, told the Washington Post in an interview published Thursday that Beijing uses disputes with Japan and others to shore up its domestic support.

The Japanese leader's trip comes as tensions between the Asian giants escalate over rival claims to a group of small islands in the East China Sea that the Chinese call the Diaoyus and the Japanese refer to as the Senkakus.

China's confrontational stance risked eventually harming its economy and scaring off foreign investors, Abe added.

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