China tells Japan navy drills 'normal'

Tokyo lodged a protest with Beijing over a Chinese helicopter that flew too close to a Japanese destroyer in the waters off Okinawa, the second such incident this month.

China tells Japan navy drills 'normal'

China's Defence Ministry told Japan on Friday to stop interfering in what it called its normal defence drills in the seas around Okinawa but also called for better communication between the two militaries.

Tokyo lodged a protest with Beijing on Wednesday over a Chinese helicopter that flew too close to a Japanese destroyer in the waters off Okinawa, the second such incident this month.

The incident took place about 500 km (310 miles) south of Okinawa island, where U.S. bases are concentrated in Japan, the country's Foreign Ministry said.

China's Defence Ministry, in a statement carried by the official Xinhua news agency, said Japan was whipping up the incident. It said the Chinese ships were carrying out normal training in open seas.

"Relevant countries should not make subjective presumptions, or improper conjecture," it said, citing ministry spokesman Huang Xueping.

"They should also not take any extreme action, or interfere by following at close range and over a long period of time Chinese naval vessels which are performing regular training," Huang was paraphrased as saying.

Japanese media should also not "exaggerate the facts" or "create contradictions and feelings of antagonism", he said.

Huang said he "hoped defence departments in both nations can further increase exchanges and communication, increase mutual trust, and guard against misunderstandings and misjudgements".

Japan and China have been deepening bilateral ties and expanding military exchanges but Tokyo has often called for greater transparency in Beijing's military spending and equipment.


Reuters

Last Mod: 23 Nisan 2010, 15:20
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