No one-to-one China-Japan navy meetings planned at WPNS: PLA officer

By Yu Jincui in Qingdao Source:Global Times Published: 2014-4-21 1:03:01

Pakistan navy frigate PNS Shamsheer 252 arrives in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province on Sunday before preparing to join the multi-country maritime drill and the West Pacific Navy Symposium. Photo: Ma Jun/GT

No one-to-one meetings between top navy officers of China and Japan are officially scheduled for the upcoming West Pacific Navy Symposium (WPNS), a People's Liberation Army (PLA) spokesman said.

"In view of the wrong words and deeds by the Japanese leaders ... which have substantially hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and undermined bilateral ties, aside from arranged, necessary meetings at the symposium, no one-on-one meeting between Admiral Wu Shengli and [Japanese] Marine Self Defense Forces (MSDF) officials has been planned during this year's WPNS," PLA navy spokesman Liang Yang said. 

Earlier this month, media in Japan citing "a Japanese government source" reported that Admiral Kawano, MSDF chief of staff, was set to meet with Admiral Wu, commander-in-chief of China's PLA navy on the sidelines of the WPNS in China's port city of Qingdao.

The "meeting" would have marked the first official contact in five years between the navy chiefs of the two Asian neighbors, who have been in a long-standing row over the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands.

"The decision will disappoint Japan, but Tokyo is maneuvering to pressure China by hyping up a 'meeting' between Wu and Kawano." Jin Canrong, associate dean of the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times. Jin said that the political conditions are not correct for Chinese navy leaders to meet Japan's until Japan stops provoking China and shows a sincere attitude.

Japan has also been excluded from activities to celebrate the founding day of the PLA navy running concurrent with the WPNS, including a multinational warship maritime exercise and an international fleet review. However, the fleet review was announced to be scrapped on April 15 because of the special situation and atmosphere surrounding the continuing search for the missing Malaysian airliner MH370 with 154 Chinese onboard.

Liang said the navy drill was not under the framework of the WPNS and China invited both participating and not-participating countries from the symposium. He further emphasized that this is "not the proper time" for China to invite Japanese participation in activities relating to the Chinese navy given the current situation.

Seven warships from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, India, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei to participating in the drill arrived Qingdao Sunday morning. The two-day WPNS, which will kick off on April 22, will draw on navy leaders from 25 countries, including 21 member states, 3 observer states and Pakistan, which is applying for becoming an observer of WPNS.

More photos: Naval ships arrive in Qingdao for military drills

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