Scholars clash over maritime disputes at security forum

By Bai Tiantian Source:Global Times Published: 2016/10/13 0:23:39

Differences remain among Chinese, US and Japanese scholars over maritime disputes at panel discussions in the Xiangshan Forum on Wednesday in Beijing.

Ten people, including experts, a former diplomat and an ex-military officer from China, the US, Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia, were invited to the panel on Wednesday to discuss Maritime Crisis Management and Regional Stability.

Toshimichi Nagaiwa, former commander of the Air Support Command of Japan's Air Self-Defense Force, criticized China's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea, calling it selective management and claiming its establishment is against international law.

Nagaiwa's views were countered by Jiang Xinfeng and Zhao Xiaozhuo, both of whom are military experts from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Academy of Military Sciences. In the follow-up Q&A session, Zhao asked Nagaiwa to clarify his comments, while Jiang suggested that Japan's ADIZ would be considered illegal following his line of thinking.

Nagaiwa also criticized China for involving territorial disputes in negotiations on the China-Japan maritime communication mechanism, saying it confuses the Japanese side and delays an agreement.

"China and Japan had reached a consensus over the maritime communication mechanism before Japan nationalized the Diaoyu Islands in September 2012. After the nationalization, Japan shifted its stance and sought to alter the initial draft, which is unacceptable to China," said Qian Lihua, vice president of the China Committee of the Council on Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region.

China and Japan failed to make much progress in establishing the mechanism as neither side could agree on whether the proposed mechanism should or should not include the Diaoyu Islands.

"Japan insisted that the Diaoyu Islands be exempted from the mechanism as it refuses to admit that there exists a dispute over the islands. China wants the mechanism to cover the islands, believing this area is most vulnerable to possible incidents," Jiang said.



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