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China accuses Japan of increasing surveillance


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BEIJING (PTI): Accusing Japan of increasing surveillance of China's land and naval forces, Chinese Defence Ministry asked Tokyo to stop scrambling fighters to intercept Chinese jets as it resulted in air and maritime safety problems and severely disturbed war games.

Number of Japanese jets approaching Chinese coastal waters from January to September increased 44 percent compared with the same period last year, Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told the media here.

He also called on Japan to stop scrambling fighters to intercept Chinese planes, warning that this was the cause of air and maritime safety problems, and had severely disturbed military drills of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Japan has strengthened its efforts to monitor China in the East China Sea area in recent years.

"It has endangered the safety of Chinese fighters and is causing air and maritime safety problems. We have sufficient evidence of this," Yang was quoted by the state run 'China Daily' as saying on Thursday.

"We hope the Japanese side can take a responsible attitude and effective measures to avoid any possible accidents," he said.

Yang said the number of Japanese jets approaching Chinese coastal waters from January to September increased 44 percent compared with the same period last year.

However he claimed none of the Chinese aircraft entered Japanese air space and said the conduct of the Chinese planes totally conformed to international law and practices.

Sino-Japanese ties are showing signs of improvement as Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba is due to visit Beijing early next month to discuss with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi the timing and details of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's first China visit since taking office in September.

Meanwhile, Yang denied that China's increasing activities in Africa went against its policy of non-interference in other nations' internal affairs.

"The Chinese military has been participating in African security affairs for years. It has taken part in 15 UN peacekeeping missions there and has dispatched a total of 15,000 peacekeeping officers and soldiers," Yang said.

According to Yang, as of Tuesday, the Chinese naval fleet has escorted a total of 4,228 ships in the waters of the Gulf of Aden off Somalia.

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