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China, Japan Officials Meet            08/18 06:02


   BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese and Japanese officials have met in northern China 
amid renewed tensions over Beijing's military threats against Taiwan and after 
Tokyo protested China's firing of missiles into Japan's exclusive economic zone 
during recent military drills.

   The meeting Wednesday between senior foreign affairs advisor Yang Jiechi and 
the head of Japan's National Security Secretariat, Akiba Takeo, followed 
China's cancellation of a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two 
countries after Japan signed on to a statement from the Group of Seven 
industrialized countries criticizing China's threatening war games surrounding 
Taiwan earlier this month.

   Japan issued diplomatic protests over China's firing of missiles into its 
exclusive economic zone during the drills, which saw Chinese warplanes and navy 
ships cross the middle zone of the Taiwan Strait that has long been a buffer 
between the sides.

   China claims Taiwan as its own territory, to be annexed by force if 
necessary. The former Japanese colony has been under Chinese military threat 
since Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist government fled to the island in 1949 as 
Mao Zedong's Communist Party seized control of the Chinese mainland.

   In his comments to Takeo, Yang said "the Taiwan question bears on the 
political foundation of China-Japan relations and the basic trust and good 
faith between the two countries," China's official Xinhua News Agency reported 

   "Japan should ... shape up a right perception of China, pursue a positive, 
pragmatic and rational China policy, and uphold the right direction of peaceful 
development," Xinhua quoted Yang as saying.

   China's nearly two weeks of military exercises surrounding Taiwan followed 
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island in defiance of Beijing's 

   China announced further drills in response to the visit by another 
Congressional delegation this week, but has not said when or where they will 
take place.

   The exercises appear to have had little impact among Taiwan's more than 23 
million people, who overwhelmingly favor the status quo of de facto 
independence while maintaining robust economic ties with China.

   Takeo met earlier this month with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake 
Sullivan in Washington, during which they "reiterated the importance of 
maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and reinforced their 
resolve to stand united against Russia's unjust and unprovoked war on Ukraine 
and united in support of the Ukrainian people," the State Department said in a 
news release.

   China's threats against Taiwan have been likened to Russia's invasion of its 
neighbor. Shortly before Moscow dispatched troops in February, Russian 
President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met in Beijing, 
where they declared their relationship had "no limits" and Russia supported 
China's claim to Taiwan.

   Many Chinese also resent Japan over its brutal invasion and occupation of 
parts of the country during the 1930s and 1940s, sentiments kept alive by 
Communist Party propaganda.

   In an incident reported widely on social media, a Chinese woman wearing a 
traditional Japanese kimono dress was recently detained by police in the 
eastern city of Hangzhou for allegedly creating a disturbance. She was 
reportedly released without charge after writing an apology.

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