China morning round-up: China-Japan islands dispute

A Chinese patrol boat (L) cruising near a Japan Coast Guard (R) vessel in disputed waters around the East China Sea, 11 July 2012 (Japan Coast Guard handout photo) Chinese media give high profile coverage to the East China Sea patrol

Newspapers continue their coverage on the East China Sea islands dispute after Japan protested at the entry of Chinese patrol boats into disputed water.

Three Chinese fishery patrol boats entered the waters near the disputed islands - known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China - early on Wednesday and have since left, reports say.

Both People's Daily and its subsidiary the Global Times ran reports on their front page, saying the Chinese boats were conducting "routine patrols".

Hong Kong's Ming Pao Daily News said official Chinese media such as the Xinhua news agency had run prominently featured reports on the patrol on Tuesday, almost immediately after the boats had reached the area.

Reports in Beijing News said the Chinese boats had asked intercepting Japanese coast guard boats to leave.

Japan summoned the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo to lodge a protest over the incident, but Beijing rejected the complaint, foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said in Beijing on Wednesday.

China Daily reported that Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi met his Japanese counterpart Koichiro Gemba in Phnom Penh, on the sidelines of the Asean regional forum.

Mr Yang reaffirmed China's stance on the disputed islands, and urged Tokyo to "get back to managing differences through dialogue and reconciliation," the report said.

The Beijing Times said that academics had accused the Japanese government of collaborating with right wing activists to create an impression that Tokyo has been in actual control of the islands.

Meanwhile, People's Daily ran several articles attacking recent moves by the US in the Asia Pacific region.

Its domestic edition accused Washington of trying to weaken integration of Asian countries by pushing for its own Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement.

This is followed by a commentary - which is promoted as the top story on the paper's website homepage - criticising some recent remarks made by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Asian countries should "expand human rights".

The US should refrain from being a promoter of human rights, said the commentary, in order to engage in Asia's development.

A front page commentary in the Overseas Edition further criticised Washington for "fuelling" conflicts in both the East and South China Seas, warning that such "tricks" could backfire.

Amid the East China Sea tension, Shanghai Daily and the Beijing Times reported the death of a baby giant panda at a Tokyo zoo.

People in Japan were mourning its death, reports said.

Also on Thursday, China Daily and Shanghai's China Business News reported on the latest cabinet meeting, focusing on improving the supply chain for consumer goods and energy efficiency.

The meeting approved an efficiency plan that aims to cut China's energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 16% in 2015 as compared with 2010 levels, said the reports.

The Global Times and Beijing News also reported that the municipal government of Liuzhou in southern Guangxi region was offering a 1,000 yuan ($157.03; £101.39) bounty to anyone who could catch a piranha in the Liujiang River that flows across the city.

Two local men were attacked by the Amazon native fish on 7 July, causing public anxiety.

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