China media: Territorial dispute

One of the disputed islands, in an image released by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force on 15 September 2010 Image copyright AP
Image caption The row between Tokyo and Beijing involves eight islands in the East China Sea

Chinese newspapers criticise a senior US commander for "siding with Japan" in a territorial dispute.

Lt Gen John Wissler, the commander of the III Marine Expeditionary Force based in Japan, reportedly said that his force was capable of retaking a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea in case of an attack from "a foreign power", according to the People's Daily.

Relations between Tokyo and Beijing are currently strained over a territorial row involving islands in the East China Sea known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu islands in China. Japan controls the islands.

Zhu Chenghu, a professor from National Defence University, tells the Chinese edition of the Global Times that the US commander made these comments to "show support" for Washington's military allies and to "warn China against using force".

"His (Lt Gen Wissler's) views are built on an 'imaginary condition' that China will send troops to occupy the Diaoyu islands. But this is non-existent, so his comments are not that brilliant and his support for Japan is meaningless," he adds.

"This is the first time Mr Wissler has openly commented on the direct involvement of the US. We should be on our guard," a commentary in the state-run Haiwai website warns.

"Actually, the US is playing a dangerous game of 'offshore balancing', using the Diaoyu islands dispute to cause long-term tension between China and Japan... The US is playing with fire, but it must not forget an old adage that 'he who plays with fire gets burnt'," it adds.

Water contamination

Meanwhile, papers applaud the authorities for their "impartial" investigation into corruption allegations against a top government official.

Shen Weichen, the executive vice-president of China's Association for Science and Technology, is being investigated for alleged serious violations of discipline and laws, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI)

Mr Shen is also a member of the CCDI.

A commentary in the Beijing News points out that the probe should sound an alarm to officials from other departments.

"'Someone from the CCDI is being investigated. This shows the resolution of the party to fight corruption," it adds.

An article on the Eastday news portal also praises the government's anti-graft measures.

Elsewhere, papers criticise the local government's handling of a water contamination crisis which has affected over 2.4 million people in Lanzhou, north-western Gansu province.

Papers report that crude oil that leaked from a pipeline poisoned the city's water plant.

Report say that exposure to benzene, often used in the petrochemical industry, can increase the risk of cancer and other diseases.

According to the state-run China Central Television, officials said the oil leak came from a pipeline operated by the Lanzhou Petro Chemical Company, a subsidiary of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation.

The China Daily notes that the contamination was first discovered on Thursday, but "the warning was not given until 18 hours later and neither was the contaminated water source isolated until then".

"If it was not bureaucracy that caused the delay, it must have been problems with the mechanism in place to timely inform citizens of any danger that their drinking water might pose to their health," it says.

"Managing the drinking water for their residents is a test of the governing capability of the city government… The Lanzhou government has obviously failed this test," the paper criticises.

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