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 Hillary Clinton faces Japan-China wrangle at Asean

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PostSubject: Hillary Clinton faces Japan-China wrangle at Asean   Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:25 pm

Hillary Clinton faces Japan-China wrangle at Asean
Hillary Clinton with South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak in Hanoi, 29 October Hillary Clinton's agenda will include human rights issues

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is joining the Asean regional summit, amid a continuing war of words between China and Japan over disputed islands.

An apparently friendly China-Japan meeting ahead of the Hanoi summit on Friday was followed by Beijing accusing Tokyo of damaging bilateral relations.

The US has urged dialogue but China has already expressed dissatisfaction with Mrs Clinton over the issue.

Mrs Clinton's agenda will also include human rights issues.
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* Why are South China Sea tensions rising?

The regional summit has now formally opened.

Mrs Clinton and her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, have been invited to join the 16-nation East Asia Summit in Vietnam's capital.

The China-Japan row is over islands known in Japan as Senkaku and in China as Diaoyu. They are controlled by Japan but claimed by China.

Ahead of her arrival, Washington called on the nations to "have a thoughtful, considered dialogue and resolve these issues".

State department spokesman PJ Crowley said: "We recognise that there is an open question of sovereignty, and we expect that to be resolved between Japan and China through dialogue."

But China has already said it is "strongly dissatisfied" with Mrs Clinton for speaking out on the dispute after meeting her Japanese counterpart Seiji Maehara in Hawaii on Thursday.

She said the islands fell within the scope of Japan's security alliance with the US.
Nobel winner

Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue said on Friday: "The Japanese side should take responsibility for ruining the atmosphere for leaders of the two countries."

China faces opposition from a number of Asean members over its claims in the South China Sea and the matter may arise again on Saturday.
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Ongoing disputes

* Gas fields: The countries argue over gas exploration rights in the East China Sea
* Disputed islands: Both countries claim ownership of Senkaku/Diaoyu islands
* Yasukuni Shrine: Memorial to Japan's war dead which China sees as glorifying war criminals

* Q&A: China-Japan islands row

Mr Crowley said Mrs Clinton would raise human rights concerns with the hosts.

"There have been some recent instances where journalists, bloggers, other activists have been arrested. This is contrary to Vietnam's own commitment to internationally accepted standards of human rights, including the freedom of speech," Mr Crowley said.

He also said the issue of detained Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo would come up in discussions with China.






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PostSubject: Re: Hillary Clinton faces Japan-China wrangle at Asean   Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:25 am

UN: No change in Gaza despite easing of Israel blockade
By Jon Donnison
BBC News, Gaza City

Construction in Gaza is hampered by restrictions on importing cement into the territory
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Israel and the Palestinians

Mid-East talks: Where they stand
Q&A: Resuming direct talks
New US aid as peace talks stall
Hope and anger as freeze expires
The UN says there has been "no material change" for people in Gaza since Israel announced it was "easing" its economic blockade of the Palestinian territory.

In June Israel said it would lift some of its restrictions on Gaza to allow in more food and consumer goods.

The move followed international pressure after the deaths of nine Turkish activists aboard a flotilla of ships trying to break the blockade.

The head of UN operations in Gaza said few people had noticed any difference.

"There's been no material change for the people on the ground here in terms of their status, the aid dependency, the absence of any recovery or reconstruction, no economy," the UN's John Ging told the BBC.

"The easing, at it was described, has been nothing more than a political easing of the pressure on Israel and Egypt."

'Elephant in room'
There are now more Israeli products allowed into Gaza. But virtually all exports are still banned, which has devastated Gaza's economy.

And the blockade on people remains. It is still extremely difficult for Palestinians to get Israeli permission to leave Gaza.

Mr Ging accused Israel of ignoring demands from the international community to lift the blockade.

A spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry said the UN was missing the point.

"The UN refuses to talk about the elephant in the room," said Yigal Palmor.

"Why are there any problems in exporting and sometimes importing goods into Gaza? Why is the border blockaded? Because the territory has been overtaken by a declared terror movement."

The blockade was originally tightened in 2007 after the Islamist movement Hamas came to power in Gaza. Israel as well as the US and the European union regard Hamas as a terrorist organisation.





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