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Senkakus should not be put under Japan-U.S. security pact: China

China on Wednesday expressed strong opposition to U.S. President Barack Obama's view that a group of islands at the heart of a fierce dispute with Japan falls under the scope of Washington's security treaty with Tokyo. "We are firmly opposed to putting the Diaoyu Islands under the U.S.-Japan treaty," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a press conference, referring to the Chinese name for the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands.

Senkakus covered by Japan-U.S. security pact: Obama

President Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to stipulate that the Japan-administered Senkaku islets in the East China Sea claimed by China are covered by the bilateral security treaty, as the White House revealed his remarks in an interview with a major daily published Wednesday.

German minister unable to meet with Beijing critics during visit

BEIJING (Reuters) - Germany's Deputy Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel was unable to hold talks with members of Chinese civil society during a visit to Beijing on Tuesday, but declined to comment on why the planned meeting at the German embassy had not taken place. Gabriel had told reporters travelling with him to China that he would meet with critics of the Chinese government, saying he believed that European politicians had an obligation to show their support for such people.

Taiwan hopes to ink fishery agreement with Philippines by July

Taiwan hopes to sign a fishery cooperation pact with the Philippines before July to better protect the lives of Taiwanese fishermen in disputed areas of the South China Sea, a Taiwanese official said Tuesday. Benjamin Ho, director general of the Foreign Ministry's Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said he now expects the agreement will be signed no later than end of the fishing season in July.

Abe, Obama to say will not tolerate bid to alter status quo by force

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama plan to declare in a summit Thursday the two allies will not tolerate any attempt to alter the status quo by force or coercion, a move aimed at keeping China and Russia in check, sources involved in bilateral relations said Saturday.

Taiwan urges Japan to apologize, compensate "comfort women"

Taiwan called on the Japanese government on Thursday to apologize and compensate Taiwanese women forced to work in military brothels during World War II. President Ma Ying-jeou said the U.N. Human Rights Council declared in 1995 that Japan's military sexual slavery system constituted a war crime.

Japan's Abe dubs China vital partner amid territorial disputes

By Kiyoshi Takenaka TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe criticized Beijing for trying to "change the status quo" with force in maritime disputes but said China was a vital economic partner, as a series of visits suggested a possible thaw in ties between the Asian rivals. Sino-Japanese ties have been strained by a territorial row over tiny disputed isles in the East China Sea and perceptions in Beijing that Abe wants to rewrite Japan's wartime history and tone down past apologies.

China angered by U.S. environment chief's visit to Taiwan

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Tuesday it had lodged a protest with the United States over a visit by Washington's environmental protection chief to self-ruled Taiwan this week. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Gina McCarthy's visit is the first by a cabinet-level official since 2000, according to Taiwan's presidential office. Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou met her on Monday. McCarthy was visiting to highlight environmental cooperation between the United States and partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

Taiwan hails first US cabinet-level visit for 14 years

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou on Monday met Gina McCarthy, the first US cabinet-level official to visit the island in 14 years, and hailed her trip as important for ties with Washington. "This is the first time since 2000 for a cabinet-level official to visit Taiwan from the United States. It is of great significance for bilateral ties," Ma said while meeting McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The United States switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979.

US plans first cabinet visit to Taiwan in 14 years

The top US environmental official will visit Taiwan in the first trip by a cabinet-level leader from Washington to the Chinese-claimed island in 14 years, officials aid Saturday. Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, will travel to Taiwan and Vietnam from Monday through Wednesday to discuss cooperation, her agency said in a statement. The trip would be the first by a cabinet-level US official to Taiwan since 2000 when then US president Bill Clinton sent transportation secretary Rodney Slater.
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