Experts say Taiwan-based Foxconn CEO Guo Tai-ming's suggestion that he would buy the Diaoyu Islands and cooperate with Japan to develop them is impracticable and meaningless.
Guo said at a shareholder's meeting of Foxconn Technology Group that he respects Japan, and developing the islands with Japan would benefit both Taiwan and Japan, Taipei-based ettoday.net reported on Monday.
Located between the Taiwan Straits and Japan, the Diaoyu Islands have long been at the center of a sovereignty spat involving China and Japan.
Officials from the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council told the Global Times that protecting the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands would benefit both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.
Experts in cross-Straits relations say it is not possible to buy the islands and there is no precedence for such a sale.
"Sovereignty cannot be bought," Li Jiaquan, researcher with the Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times. Yu Keli, deputy director from the same institute, said Guo might be attempting to show his support for Taiwan's ownership of the islands.
"Guo's statements are unwise and he will likely be scolded by both Chinese and Japanese public," Yu told the Global Times. "Any measures related to development of those islands can only take place after the sovereignty of those islands are settled."
As one of the largest exporters in Asia, Foxconn has more than 600,000 employees on the Chinese mainland and Guo has been an influential business leader on the mainland and in Taiwan.
Li Fei, a professor with Taiwan Research Center of Xiamen University in Fujian Province, said that Guo only made an informal statement and he may be just seeking public attention and to hype himself.
In April, Tokyo's Mayor Shintaro Ishihara raised hackles in both Taiwan and the mainland when he sought to buy some of the Diaoyu Islands and appealed to Japanese to donate money.
"Guo also might have been offering a counterpoint to Shintaro's statement," Li Fei told the Global Times.
Many Web users were upset by Guo's words saying he has betrayed China.
Calls and e-mails to the media office of Foxconn were not answered.