Japan urged to face history

Updated: 2013-05-27 03:16

By Fu Jing and Ding Qingfen in Berlin (China Daily)

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Premier says order created after WWII must be safeguarded

Premier Li Keqiang urged Japan on Sunday to respect China's territorial sovereignty and the order created after World War II, while offering to work with Germany to achieve more global peace.

Japan urged to face history

Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel inspect a military honor guard at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on Sunday.AFP

Li delivered the message in a sober tone before the media after he paid a half-hour visit to Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam, where Soviet, US and British leaders met at the end of World War II for discussions that culminated in the Potsdam Proclamation.

"The site of the Potsdam meeting is a place of historic significance. The Potsdam Proclamation clearly states that Japan must return China's territories of Northeast China, Taiwan and other islands after surrendering," Li said after he carefully read the original declaration in the palace's archive.

"The victory and international order had been achieved at the cost of sacrifices of tens of millions of lives," said Li, adding that only by facing up to history can the future be opened up.

Any attempt to deny or glorify the wartime aggression is a challenge to international justice, which will not be tolerated by the Chinese people and will be condemned by people all over the world, Li said.

Li said Germany is a country that loves peace, and China and Germany will work hand in hand in this endeavor.

Observers said Li's first stop in Germany demonstrates Beijing's determination to safeguard its sovereignty based on the outcome of World War II and its commitment to peaceful means when handling international affairs.

Li is on the last leg of his four-country visit to India, Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany. He arrived in Berlin on Saturday afternoon and the visit to Ceilienhof Palace kicked off his two-day visit to China's important trade and economic partner.

Li told reporters he had a pleasant night watching a soccer match, and he even asked one German photographer about his favorite team.

With meetings, dinner and a breakfast arrangement with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Li is expected to discuss the roadmap of bilateral relations and ties with the European Union.

Li is also likely to discuss solutions for trade disputes with the German leader, and the two countries will sign a series of multibillion-dollar economic and trade agreements and contracts.

The two leaders were expected to discuss economic issues and human rights, as well as international topics such as Iran's nuclear program and the civil war in Syria, German officials said before the meeting in Berlin.

During a visit to Switzerland on Saturday, Li criticized the EU for pursuing anti-dumping cases against Chinese solar power and telecommunications equipment manufacturers that he warned will hurt both sides.

"The cases over these two types of products will hurt Chinese industries, business and jobs and also damage the vital interests of European users and consumers," Xinhua News Agency quoted him as saying. "We express firm opposition."

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has indicated that it hopes for a negotiated solution in those cases rather than having the EU impose anti-dumping duties.

Li is also scheduled to meet German President Joachim Gauck.

Contact the writers at fujing@chinadaily.com.cn and dingqingfen@chinadaily.com.cn