China says tensions with Japan likely to hurt trade

Rising tension between China and Japan over disputed islands is likely to harm their trade ties, a senior Chinese commerce official said on Thursday.

Asia’s two largest economies both claim islands in the East China Sea and tensions have flared since Tuesday when Tokyo announced it would purchase disputed islands from a private Japanese owner, an act that Beijing has called a violation of its sovereignty.

Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Jiang Zengwei added to the volley of warnings from Beijing.

“With Japan’s so-called purchase of the islands, it will be hard to avoid negative consequences for Sino-Japanese economic and trade ties,” Jiang told a news briefing.

China is Japan’s largest trading partner.

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