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US urges 'cooler heads' between Japan, China

Published on Sep 12, 2012 9:19 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States (US) called on Tuesday for calm between Japan and China after Beijing sent ships to disputed islands in the East China Sea in response to Tokyo's purchase of them.

"We think, in the current environment, we want cooler heads to prevail, frankly," said Mr Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.

Mr Campbell, echoing remarks this weekend by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the end of a tour of Asia, said that calm was critical because the region serves as a "cockpit of the global economy". "The stakes could not be bigger," Mr Campbell said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank.

"We believe that peaceful dialogue and the maintenance of peace and security is of utmost importance always but particularly now in this set of circumstances," Mr Campbell said.

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