Tokyo urged not to stir tension in the South China Sea
Updated: 2016-03-10 08:39
By Zhang Yunbi(chinadaily.com.cn)
This satellite image shows the Yongshu Jiao of China's Nansha Islands. [Photo/Xinhua]
Tokyo must not "flare up tension in the South China Sea" or try to contain China by aligning with other parties involved in disputes there, the Chinese Ambassador to Japan told China Daily.
Veteran diplomat and political advisor Cheng Yonghua, 62, made the comments when asked about Japan's recent high-profile stance on maritime issues and its calling for joint sea patrols.
"Japan is unilaterally standing against China on a basis of partiality, and it addresses any country having disputes with China as its 'pal' or 'brother' in an attempt to encircle China. This is utterly wrong from the outset," Cheng said.
Some observers have attributed Japan's stance to the ongoing US pivot to Asia strategy. Cheng responded that "Japan is not even a contracting party in the relevant disputes".
"Freedom of navigation is also a false issue, and what the US is doing in the sea is leading the situation to one of further tension. Both Tokyo and Washington should clearly bear in mind the status quo and not produce tension," he said.
"Japan has turned a blind eye" to a slew of key historical facts, he said, including China retaking islands illegally occupied by Japan during World War II, and countries such as the Philippines illegally occupying some islands and boosting military buildup on them since the 1970s.