- - Thursday, September 27, 2012

CHINA

BEIJING — While Japanese lawmakers and business leaders visited Beijing with hopes of mending ties, China assailed Japan’s prime minister as obstinate and wrong for saying his nation won’t compromise in their island dispute.

Relations between Japan and China are at their lowest in years because of their spat over the island group in the East China Sea known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

Japan says it bought the islands this month to thwart Japanese nationalists’ more radical plans to develop them.

But China sees the move as wrecking a prior arrangement with Tokyo, and it and many Chinese have responded with outrage.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Wednesday in New York that the islands are clearly an “inherent part of our territory, in light of history and international law.”

He said that issues over the islands should be resolved peacefully and by the rule of law.

In response, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Thursday that “China is strongly disappointed and sternly opposes the Japanese leader’s obstinacy regarding his wrong position.”

His statement repeated China’s stance that Japan was ignoring historical facts and international laws.

“The country seriously challenges the postwar international order, but tries to take the rules of international law as a cover. This is self-deceiving,” Mr. Qin said in a separate statement.

MYANMAR

Myanmar praises U.S.for easing ban on imports

YANGON — Washington’s decision to ease a ban on imports from Myanmar won praise Thursday in the emerging Southeast Asian democracy, with a government official giving credit to both the country’s reformist president and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Wednesday that the Obama administration will ease import restrictions implemented against Myanmar’s previous repressive military regime.

She met Wednesday with President Thein Sein on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

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