Japan's pics of Chinese activities at sea draw Beijing's ire

BEIJING • Japan's release of pictures of Chinese construction activity in the East China Sea will only provoke confrontation between the two countries and do nothing for efforts to promote dialogue, China's Foreign Ministry said.

On Wednesday, Japan's Foreign Ministry released on its website a map and photographs of what it said were 16 Chinese marine platforms close to Japan's side of the disputed East China Sea site.

Japan has long expressed concern that such developments could siphon gas out of undersea structures that extend to its own side.

In response, China's Foreign Ministry said it had every right to develop oil and gas resources in waters not in dispute under its jurisdiction.

"What Japan did provokes confrontation between the two countries, and is not constructive at all to the management of the East China Sea situation and the improvement of bilateral relations," it said.

In 2012, Japan's government angered Beijing by purchasing a disputed, uninhabited island chain in the East China Sea.

Until then, Beijing had curtailed activities under a pact with Japan to jointly develop undersea resources in disputed areas.

China's position on the pact remained unchanged and it was willing to maintain communication with Japan on related issues, its Foreign Ministry said.

"The key is for Japan to create favourable environment and conditions to implement this consensus," it added, referring to the pact.

"Japan's hyping up of the oil and gas issue in the East China Sea will do nothing good to carry out dialogue and cooperation between China and Japan on the East China Sea-related issues," it said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2015, with the headline 'Japan's pics of Chinese activities at sea draw Beijing's ire'. Print Edition | Subscribe