china_japan22nd February 2013 – China said on Friday that it seriously disagreed with comments that had been made by the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, referring to his belief that Beijing held a “deeply ingrained” need to challenge nearby countries over territory.
Hong Lei, the spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry attended the daily press briefing on Friday and said “China is strongly dissatisfied with the Japanese leader’s comments that distort facts, attack and defame China and stir up confrontations between the two countries,”
Abe recently held an interview with American based paper, the Washington Post and said that he believed China had a “deeply ingrained” need to fight with nearby Asian countries, including Japan, over the ownership of territory and that the thought this was a tactic by the ruling party in China to help retain a high level of support domestically.
Hong responded to these comments by urging the government of Japan to review its view of China and their development, as well as to take a more positive approach to policies based around China and try to make an effort to improve the bilateral relations between the two nations.
Hong insisted that the maritime activities that China took in the area are entirely legal in terms of both international and domestic laws.
He said “Thus, navigational freedom and security in the East China Sea and South China Sea have never been affected,”
Hong added that he believed Japan had ulterior motives with its comments and planned to exaggerate the concept of the “China threat”, to purposely raise the level of tensions in the region.
“Japan should do more to enhance bilateral trust in politics and security and work for regional peace and stability, rather than act contrarily,” He said.
Hong was keen to reiterate that the Diaoyu Islands that had recently been purchased by Japan were inherently China’s territory and the sovereignty that China held over them could not be disputed.
Hong encouraged the government of Japan to correct the mistake it had made by illegally “purchasing” the Diaoyu Islands, an act he believed to be infringement of China’s sovereignty, and thus evade any possible negative consequences.
He went on to say that China did not, and never would be in recognition of any control Japan believed it had over the Diaoyu Islands.
Hong said “Japan should face up to history and reality, immediately stop illegal activities on the seas near the Diaoyu Islands and make substantive efforts to properly deal with the current situation,”
Hong said that he believed the blame was on Japan when it came to difficulties that were currently being experienced in bilateral trade, and urged them to consider their aggression in the past.
“China will continue to advance on the socialist road with Chinese characteristics, and the great renaissance of the Chinese nation cannot be obstructed by anyone,” Hong said.