Japan, not China, taking 'unilateral or coercive actions' on Diaoyu Islands dispute

Updated: 2013-05-01 15:17


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WASHINGTON - Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said Tuesday that it is Japan, not China, that is taking "unilateral or coercive actions" on their islands dispute.

Cui made the remarks in response to US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's unfounded assertion on the dispute between Japan and China over the Diaoyu Islands.

Addressing a joint news conference Monday with visiting Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, Hagel claimed that the US "opposes any unilateral or coercive action that seeks to undermine Japan's administrative control, a message (Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff) General (Martin) Dempsey conveyed to his counterparts last week in Beijing".

In an interview with Washington-based Chinese media, Cui said some of Hagel's remarks on the meetings between Dempsey and the Chinese side do not square with the facts.

"The Chinese side held in-depth exchange of views on a wide range of issues with Mr Dempsey and clearly expressed China's stances and opinions. I believe relevant US parties have already received briefings on the meetings and should have a good knowledge of the facts," Cui said.

Cui emphasized that it is Japan, not China, that has created the tensions and has been taking "unilateral or coercive actions" on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands, which are historically an integral part of China's territory.

"On this issue, we can see the bare facts and who is right or wrong," he said.

The Chinese envoy said the US side should stay alert against the recent provocative actions taken by Japanese political leaders. A number of Japanese Cabinet officials and lawmakers recently paid visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 Class-A war criminals are honored among Japan's war dead.

Moreover, certain Japanese politician recently expressed doubts about the definition of the "aggression" of Japanese troops during WWII, and even climbed aboard a combat tank wearing a camouflage jacket in an apparent show of force.

"Aggression is aggression. It's not an empty concept, but an anti-human crime as defined by the UN Charter," Cui stressed.

He added that all these actions by Japanese politicians, which have aroused worldwide condemnation and concerns about the revival of Japan's militarism, not only run counter to the common wishes and interests of the international community, but also damage the long-term interests of Japan itself.

"By taking these actions, the political figures in Japan will be hoist with their own petard," he noted.

Cui also expressed the hope that Washington will avoid repeating the same mistake by sacrificing its long-term benefits for immediate short-term needs on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands.