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China Protests Japan's Detention of Citizens

Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo Thursday afternoon summoned Chikahito Harada, chargé d'affaires of the Japanese Embassy in China, to lodge a solemn representation once again over Japan's illegal detention of Chinese citizens who landed on Diaoyu Island in the East China Sea.

Dai pointed out that Diaoyu Island and the attached islets have been Chinese territory from ancient times over which China has indisputable sovereignty.


He said China strongly protests against Japan's prevention of the Chinese citizens from landing on Diaoyu Island and against its detention of the seven Chinese citizens who landed on the island.


This seriously infringed on China's territorial sovereignty and Chinese citizens' human rights, he said, adding that the Chinese government and people will never accept it.


It is a fact that China and Japan are in dispute over the sovereignty of Diaoyu Island and the attached islets, Dai said, adding that the Chinese government has always advocated political negotiations to resolve the issue.


Since the Japanese side accepts that the two countries have different views, Japan's detention of the Chinese people according to its domestic law is a severe violation of international law, Dai said.


China will never accept Japan's attempts to deal with the issue according to its domestic laws, he emphasized.


Dai demands that Japan recognize the seriousness of the situation, and unconditionally release the detained Chinese citizens. Otherwise, he said, this issue could be complicated and intensified to jeopardize Sino-Japanese relations. The serious outcomes from this would have to be borne by Japan, he said.


Dai stressed that the Chinese government and leaders are concerned about the security of the Chinese citizens detained illegally, and China urges Japan to secure their safety, and not to take any action infringing on their dignity or rights.


(Xinhua News Agency March 26, 2004)

Japan Told to 'Unconditionally' Release Activists
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