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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Remarks on Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's Comment on the Diaoyu Islands Issue at a Press Conference at the UN General Assembly

2012/09/27

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said at a press conference after addressing the UN General Assembly on September 26 that the Diaoyu Islands are Japan's inherent territory in light of both history and international law. There is no territorial dispute over the islands. Japan won't make any compromise against this position. What is China's comment?

A: 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.

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