By Jiawei Liu
On Wednesday Japan agreed to give Taiwan fishing rights in the waters around a disputed group of islands in the East China Sea. Chinese foreign ministry officials expressed “serious concern” over the issue.
According to Boston.com:
In a deal signed Wednesday, Japan agreed to let Taiwanese boats fish in a part of its exclusive economic zone near the islands. They are known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.
Dispute over the Diaoyu islands has caused an increasingly hostile stand-off between Beijing and Tokyo, with Chinese ships and planes patrolling the islands despite Japan’s objections.
The South China Morning Post reports:
“We are extremely concerned about Japan and Taiwan discussing and signing a fishing agreement,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing.
“We hope that Japan earnestly abide by its promises on the Taiwan issue and act cautiously and appropriately,” he said.
“Japan has diplomatic ties only with China and recognizes Taiwan as belonging to China, but it maintains close economic and cultural relations with Taiwan.”
“Japan agreed with Taiwan to let Taiwanese fishing boats operate in part of Japan’s exclusive economic zone around the islets that are controlled by Japan, but also claimed by China and Taiwan.”
This latest spat in the Diaoyu dispute comes just after President Xi Jinping met with former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, leading many to hope for a warming of relations between Beijing and Tokyo.
At present, fishing boats from all three countries work the waters around the Diaoyu islands, though only the Japanese boats do so legally. Diaoyu fish were hugely popular when they went on sale in Shanghai, though probably not because of the taste.