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People Condemn Japan's Seabed Survey

Forty-four Chinese people protested before the Japanese Embassy in Beijing on Friday after Japan's seabed exploration for natural resources at a disputed section of the East China Sea on Wednesday.


The protesters come from different provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions throughout the nation and after the rally, some of them rode bicycles around the city carrying placards.


A Japanese Embassy official accepted a written protest which calls for the Japanese Government to immediately stop illegal actions on China's exclusive economic zone and demands an apology from Japanese authorities.


Japan launched the exploration on Wednesday in the disputed waters to the east of so-called "medium line" which was unilaterally proposed by the Japanese side, reports said.


China warned on Thursday it "retains the right to take further action" on Japan's recent sea bed exploration.


Japan contends that it is drawn at equal distances from the shores of the two countries. But China maintains the border is where the continental shelf ends.


The Chinese side has always maintained that the East China Sea should be a peaceful, stable area that can benefit both sides.


"China is watching closely the latest progress of the issue," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue at a news conference in Beijing on Thursday.


(China Daily July 10, 2004)

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