The shaky global economy needs Japan and China to be fully engaged, the head of the IMF said recently, warning the world could not afford to have the two countries distracted by their bitter territorial dispute.
Speaking to Japanese media ahead of the fund’s annual meeting in Tokyo next week, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the two had to show a bit of neighborly tolerance for the good of everybody.
“Both China and Japan are key economic drivers that do not want to be distracted by territorial division,” Kyodo News agency quoted Lagarde as saying in Washington, in an interview published yesterday.
China and Japan, the world’s second and third-largest economies, have been at loggerheads for months over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), in the East China Sea.
Tokyo administers the chain under the name Senkakus, but they are also claimed by Beijing and Taipei.
Chinese government ships regularly venture into waters around the islands, ignoring orders to leave from the Japanese coastguard.
Three such maritime surveillance ships entered territorial waters off the islands for the second straight day yesterday, Japanese coast guards said.
The three ships were off Kubashima islet, but left the immediate area soon after 3pm, the Japanese coast guard said.
The increasing frequency of spats comes ahead of next week’s IMF and World Bank meetings in Tokyo — the world’s largest single gathering of finance officials, bankers and non-government organizations.
Dow Jones Newswires reported on Tuesday that several big Chinese banks had canceled their participation in events connected to the meetings, in what it said was a sign of the row spreading into the economic realm.
Most of the banks have not given a reason for their last-minute pullouts, but one unidentified person was explicit:
“Quite frankly, it’s Japan-China relations,” Dow Jones quoted an official at the Tokyo branch of the Agricultural Bank of China as saying.
In related news, two of the US Navy’s global force aircraft carrier strike groups are currently patroling the Western Pacific within distance of the South and East China Seas, providing “a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the United States and its allies and partners,” the US Seventh Fleet said.
US Navy officials said the USS George Washington carrier strike group had begun operating near the East China Sea while the John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG), led by the USS John C. Stennis carrier, is now operating near the South China Sea, also the scene of sovereignty disputes involving China, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines.
US Pacific Command (PACOM) said the JCSSG paid a scheduled port visit at Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia, on Sunday. This was the first visit by a US carrier in Sabah, which adjoins the South China Sea.
In addition, the USS Bonhomme Richard forward-deployed amphibious assault ship, with about 2,000 US Marines on board, is said to be operating in the Philippine Sea.
All three carrier battle groups were in joint live-fire exercises with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces last month near Guam.
A PACOM spokesman said the exercises and deployments were not necessarily related to the Diaoyutais dispute.
Taiwanese businesspeople’s investments in China last year hit a record low of 11.4 percent of total foreign investment, the Mainland Affairs Council said yesterday. The number was a huge decline from 83.8 percent in 2010, mainly because Taiwanese businesspeople have been diversifying their investments globally over the past few years, with great success, the council said. From 1991 to last year, 45,523 Taiwanese investments in China totaling US$206.37 billion had been approved, accounting for 50.7 percent of overall foreign investment, data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission showed. The amount and proportion of Taiwanese investments in China has been declining, with
Taiwanese tourists on board a Kinmen cruise ship had a scare yesterday when it was intercepted by Chinese coast guards who forcefully boarded the vessel to inspect it. The Sunrise, a tourism ferry that operates between Kinmen and Xiamen, China, was sailing around the waters around the islets of Dadan (大膽) and Erdan (二膽) — both of which are part of Kinmen County — yesterday afternoon when it encountered personnel from China’s Fujian Coast Guard Bureau. China Coast Guard personnel forced their way on board and conducted an inspection for about 30 minutes before leaving, local media cited the tourists as saying. The
SEEKING CALM: The US called for maintaining the ‘status quo,’ while the Ministry of National Defense said it would not bolster defenses in the area to avoid raising tensions Taiwanese should have greater faith in the government’s investigation into the capsizing of a Chinese vessel that resulted in the death of two Chinese fishers last week, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said yesterday, adding that Taiwan abides by the rule of law. On Wednesday last week, a Chinese speedboat was spotted trespassing in “prohibited” waters within 1.1 nautical miles (2km) of the east coast of Kinmen. It fled after refusing the coast guard’s request to board the vessel, setting off a chase that led to the boat capsizing, with two Chinese fishers dying. Two survivors were deported back to China
KINMEN: Coast guards on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should prohibit the entry of illegal vessels into ‘restricted’ waters to uphold maritime safety, Chen Chien-jen said Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday called for both sides of the Taiwan Strait to approach the security of Kinmen and Xiamen waters with rationality and equitability, following a boat chase that resulted in the death of two Chinese fishers last week. Chen was responding to media inquiries ahead of a legislative session amid rising cross-strait tensions following the capsizing of a Chinese speedboat off the east coast of Kinmen on Wednesday last week during a pursuit by the Taiwanese coast guard. The Ministry of National Defense established the boundaries of “prohibited” and “restricted” waters around Kinmen in 1992 to better protect