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Aso's Behavior Does Not Match Rank of Japanese FM
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Chinese diplomatic experts on Friday reproached Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso for his repeated remarks damaging Sino-Japanese relations, saying Aso's behavior does not match his rank of a top minister.

As an important member of the Japanese Cabinet, experts said, Aso undertakes the responsibility of promoting relations with China. However, he has continuously created trouble, openly distorting history and interfering in China's internal affairs, which have deeply hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and damaged bilateral relations.

Aso has made repeated aggressive remarks in the recent ten days. He once again called Taiwan a "country", said China's "unclear" defense spending growth will "greatly threaten or frighten other countries", wrote in an article that he is waiting for a "democratic China" and hopes China will control domestic nationalism and avoid "imperialism".

Ma Junwei, a researcher with the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said, "Aso's repeated defiant remarks hardly match his rank of foreign minister."

A researcher on Japanese issues with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Lu Yaodong, said that Aso's remarks betrayed his "lack of diplomatic common sense".

Lu said China's social system, traditional culture, development needs and national interests have determined China's perseverance in following a peaceful road of development. China will be a major force safeguarding world peace and stability instead of seeking hegemony, Lu acknowledged.

"Aso has never regarded China's peaceful development as a beneficial result for Sino-Japanese cooperation, but has played up the 'China threat' and criticized China's political system. This is harmful to Sino-Japanese relations," said Ma.

"As the Japanese Foreign Minister, Aso should have made efforts to repair the already frosty China-Japan relations, but he has shown no interest in easing tensions and instead has further undermined the relations," said Liu Jiangyong, a professor with the prestigious Qinghua University in Beijing.

Aso's remarks have aroused great opposition from the Chinese government and the people in both China and Japan.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said that Aso's remarks are "incomprehensible" and it is very improper for Aso, the top diplomat of Japan, to make such irresponsible remarks on China's political system.

Qin said the crucial thing for Japanese authorities now is to have a correct view toward history and gain real trust from neighboring countries in Asia, Qin said. China has always advocated respect and equality between all nations and opposed any country which poses as a teacher.

The Japan-China Friendship Association raised on Tuesday a protest against Aso, asking him to take back his remarks and resign from his post of foreign minister, the website of China Radio International reported.

Despite the diplomatic troubles that have been caused by Aso, there has been no criticism on Aso from Japanese leaders. Experts said this has boosted Aso's arrogance.

Experts also said there is personal political ambition behind Aso's remarks. "Aso has ulterior motives in his remarks; that is precisely to cater to the right-wing forces of Japan and to make his own success amid political competitions," said Ma.

(Xinhua News Agency March 18, 2006)

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