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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 27, 2012

2012/09/28

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on September 27, 2012.

Q: It is reported that US Secretary of State Clinton said in her meeting with Myanmar President U Thein Sein that the US is going to ease restrictions on imports from Myanmar. What is China's comment?

A: China always calls on relevant countries to fully lift sanctions against Myanmar at an early date, which will contribute to its development.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said at the UN General Assembly that it was ready to solve territorial dispute through peaceful means. How does China respond?

A: We have made response to relevant remarks by the Japanese leader twice today.

In response to the Japanese leader's comment on the settlement of territorial disputes based on international law in his address to the UN General Assembly, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that the issue of territorial ownership should be resolved according to historical and jurisprudential evidence. Some individual country ignored historical facts and international law, blatantly violated other countries' territorial sovereignty, denied the outcomes of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and seriously challenged the post-war international order. However, it is now trying to take the rules of international law as a cover. This is self-deceiving. Relevant country must face history squarely, take concrete steps to observe international jurisprudence and stop all acts that undermine other countries' territorial sovereignty.

In response to the Japanese leader's remarks on the Diaoyu Islands issue at a press conference during the UN General Assembly, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that China expresses strong dissatisfaction with and firm opposition to Japanese leader's obstinately sticking to a wrong position on the Diaoyu Islands issue.

The Diaoyu Islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. This is supported by ample historical and jurisprudential evidence. In 1895, Japan used the Sino-Japanese War to illegally steal the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands and forced the Qing government to sign an unequal treaty which ceded to Japan "the island of Formosa (Taiwan), together with all islands pertaining or belonging to the said islands of Formosa". After the end of the Second World War, China recovered the Chinese territories invaded and occupied by Japan including Taiwan in accordance with the Cairo Declaration, the Potsdam Proclamation and other international legal documents. The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have already been returned to China according to international law. The Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation are great outcomes of the World Anti-Fascist War and important cornerstones of the post-war international order, which was explicitly recognized by the Japanese Instrument of Surrender in 1945. The Chinese government has, from the very beginning, expressed firm opposition to and never recognized such backroom deals between the US and Japan on China's Diaoyu Islands. The Chinese people have made huge sacrifice and important contribution to the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War. It is outrageous that a defeated country is now trying to occupy the territory of a victor. Japan's position and actions on the Diaoyu Islands issue trample on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. It is essentially Japan's failure to thoroughly reflect on and deal with its history of militarist aggression and attempt to deny the outcomes of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and challenge the post-war international order. This should put the international community on high alert. Facts are facts and history is not to be reversed. The profound suffering caused by the Second World War should not be forgotten, peace and security order upheld by the UN should not be shaken, and international justice and human conscience should not be defied. The Japanese government's so-called "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands is completely illegal and invalid. It cannot change, not in the slightest way, the historical fact of Japan's occupation of China's territory. Nor can it change China's territorial sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands. The Chinese government and people have unbreakable will and resolve in defending national territorial sovereignty. Japan's illegal scheme is doomed to failure. No matter in light of history or international law, Japan should stop all acts that undermine China's territorial sovereignty instead of making repeated mistakes and deceiving the whole world.

Q: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will address the UN General Assembly on September 28. What message will he send to the world?

A: We will release relevant text of Foreign Minister Yang's speech at the UN General Assembly. Please stay tuned.

Q: Media reports say that Chairman Jia Qinglin of the CPPCC will meet with representatives of friendly personnel from Japan this afternoon. The two sides may look for a breakthrough to the settlement of the Diaoyu Islands issue. What is your comment?

A: Competent Chinese authorities will release information about the meeting in due course. I want to point out that maintaining the sound and steady development of China-Japan relations serves the common interests of the two peoples. We must properly handle the issue of the Diaoyu Islands to this end. The Japanese government caused the trouble unilaterally, which is unpopular. We hope people of vision from the two countries can make efforts for the larger interests of China-Japan relations.

After the press conference, Hong Lei responded to a media request for China's comment on the remarks made by newly elected President Shinzo Abe of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan who said that Japan-China relations are very important and the two cannot afford to sever their ties. Japan and China should manage the situation of the Diaoyu Islands based on their recognition of interdependence.

Hong Lei said that the severe difficulties in China-Japan relations are completely caused by Japan. The key is that Japan must face up to the realities, recognize dispute, correct mistakes and make credible efforts to properly handle the current situation so as to get China-Japan relations back on track.

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