China corrects Japan on treaty's Diaoyu implications

Updated: 2013-05-31 03:11


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BEIJING - China has urged Japan to squarely face the history and respect the fact following a Japanese official's justifying Japan's claims to the Diaoyu Islands based on the so-called San Francisco Peace Treaty.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular press conference on Thursday that the Chinese government regards the so-called San Francisco Peace Treaty as illegal and invalid and therefore will definitely not recognize it.

Hong made the remark after Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide on Wednesday said the Diaoyu Islands had been Japanese territories even before the signing of the Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895 and before the release of the Potsdam Proclamation at the end of the World War II. He claimed that Japan's territories are legally defined by the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which served to officially end World War II upon its signing in 1952.

Hong, however, said historical records on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands are clear. In 1895, Japan took advantage of the foreseeable defeat of the Qing court in the first Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) to covertly include the Diaoyu Islands in its territories.

"This is an illegal act of theft," he said.

Afterwards, Japan forced the Qing court to sign the unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki, and cede to Japan the island of Formosa (Taiwan), as well as the Diaoyu Islands and all other islands appertaining or belonging to the island of Formosa, according to the spokesman.

Leaders of the United States, Britain and China signed the Cairo Declaration in December 1943, which stated that all the territories Japan had stolen from the Chinese should be restored to China.

The Potsdam Declaration established in July 1945 reaffirmed that the terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out.

Japan announced its acceptance of the Potsdam Proclamation as well as its unconditional surrender in August 1945.

In the China-Japan joint statement issued in September 1972, the Japanese government also promised to "earnestly implement Article 8 of the Potsdam Proclamation."

Hong said, the Chinese government has time and again reiterated that it regards the San Francisco Peace Treaty as illegal and invalid and therefore will definitely not recognize it, as the People's Republic of China has never been involved in preparation, formulating or signing of the treaty.

"The Diaoyu Islands have never been part of Liuqiu, and they are not in the trusteeship area defined by Article 3 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty," Hong added.

Hong said that China again urges the Japanese government to face squarely the history, respect the fact, honor its commitments and fulfill its due international obligations.