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Discussions in Japan about buying the Diaoyu islands are a provocation as the chain belongs to China, the state-run Global Times said in an editorial today.
“A strong response is necessary” after Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara said he’s interested in using public funds to purchase the islands, the newspaper editorial said.
“A military option is not an easy choice today, but Asian countries still have flexible means to solve this problem,” the editorial said.
The uninhabited islands, known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese, are claimed by both countries. Control over the area would give the holder rights to undersea natural gas and oil fields.
In a statement yesterday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said any unilateral activities from the Japanese side won’t change that the islands belong to China.
To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Nicholas Wadhams in Beijing at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at email@example.com