Chinese buoys placed near islands claimed by Beijing but controlled by Japan are intended to monitor ocean conditions and should not be “played up,” a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Tuesday following questions from Tokyo.
Japan had asked China to explain the purpose of the buoys, which were placed just outside Japanese waters near uninhabited East China Sea islands called Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyu by China. Some in Japan had speculated that the buoys were intended to detect the movement of submarines.
China Tests Japanese and U.S. Patience
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has warned Beijing that Tokyo is losing patience with China’s assertive maritime behavior in the East and South China seas, suggesting China consider the economic and military consequences of its actions. His warning followed similar statements from Washington that its patience with China is wearing thin, in this case over continued Chinese cyberespionage and the likelihood that Beijing is developing and testing cybersabotage and cyberwarfare capabilities. Together, the warnings are meant to signal to China that the thus-far relatively passive response to China’s military actions may be nearing an end.
China refutes Japan’s sea buoys accusation
China on Tuesday said deployment of buoys in waters around the Diaoyu Islands are for maritime meteorological observation.
At a daily press briefing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, “As I know, Chinese related departments’ deployment of buoys in the seas under Chinese administration are aimed at meteorological observations of the sea.”
Hua made the remarks when asked to comment on a Japanese claim that China’s set of buoys in waters around the Diaoyu Islands were aimed at collecting Japan’s intelligence.