China strongly protests Japan's extended detention

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Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Guangya made solemn representations to Japanese ambassador to China Uichiro Niwa on Sunday evening to express strong indignation and protest against Japan's prolonged detention of a Chinese skipper.

"The incident created by the Japanese side has severely damaged China-Japan relations," said Wang, stressing how the situation develops completely depends on what choices the Japanese side will make.

The Japanese authorities on Sunday afternoon extended the detention of the captain to Sept. 29.

Two Japan Coast Guard patrol ships and the Chinese fishing boat collided in waters off the Diaoyu Islands on Sept. 7. The Japanese side illegally seized the Chinese trawler and fishermen, and continued to illegally hold the Chinese captain despite firm protests by the Chinese side.

Wang warned China will take strong counter measures if the Japanese side fails to release the Chinese captain immediately and unconditionally.

"Japan shall bear all the consequences that arise," he noted.

Sources with the Foreign Ministry said earlier Sunday China had already suspended bilateral exchanges at and above the provincial or ministerial levels, halted contact with Japan on the issues of increasing civil flights and expanding aviation rights between the two countries.

A bilateral meeting on coal has also been postponed.

In the mean time, the number of Chinese citizens traveling to Japan as tourists has already declined.

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