BEIJING, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Monday after the Japanese government decided at a ministerial meeting to "purchase" part of China's Diaoyu Islands. The following is a translated version of the statement:
Despite the repeated solemn representations of China, the Japanese government announced on Sept. 10 the so-called "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands and the affiliated Nanxiao Dao and Beixiao Dao to "nationalize" them. This act is a severe infringement of Chinese territorial sovereignty, which gravely hurts the feelings of the 1.3 billion Chinese people and seriously tramples on historical facts and international laws. The Chinese government and people have expressed firm opposition and strong protest toward the act.
The Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islets have been the sacred territory of China since ancient times, backed by historical and legal evidence. They were first discovered, named and used by the Chinese. Throughout the years, Chinese fishermen have conducted production activities on these islands and neighboring waters. They were within China's maritime defense sphere as early as the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and have been the affiliated islets of China's Taiwan. The Diaoyu Islands have never been the so-called "Terra Nullius." China is their indisputable owner.
In 1895, at the end of the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), Japan took advantage of the Qing Government's obvious failure and illegally seized the Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islands. Subsequently, Japan forced the Qing Government to sign the unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki and cede "the Taiwan Islands and their affiliated islands." After the end of WWII, in accordance with the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation, China recovered Taiwan, the Penghu Islands and other territories which Japan had occupied before, meaning the Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islands were returned to China in terms of international law. History cannot be reversed. Japan's position on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands is a blatant denial of the victorious result of the world's anti-fascist war and a serious challenge to the post-war international order.
In 1951, Japan and the United States along with other countries signed the Treaty of San Francisco unilaterally, putting the Ryukyu Islands (currently the Okinawa Islands) under the administration of the United States. In 1953, the Okinawa Civil Government of the United States without authorization expanded the area of its administration, which included the Chinese territory of the Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islands. In 1971, Japan and the United States listed the Diaoyu Islands and other islands in the reversion area in the Okinawa Reversion Agreement. The Chinese government has resolutely opposed the underhand exchange of China's territory between Japan and the United States since the very beginning, withholding recognition of it. The Japanese government's so-called claims that the Diaoyu Islands are Japan's inherent territory and that there is no territorial dispute between Japan and China are totally ignoring the historical and legal facts. These claims are totally untenable.
During the negotiations for the normalization of bilateral diplomatic relations in 1972 and the signing of the Japan-China Peace and Friendship Treaty in 1978, the then leaders of the two nations, with the overall situation of bilateral ties in mind, reached the important mutual understanding and consensus of putting aside the issue of the Diaoyu Islands for a final solution in the future, which served as a precondition for the normalization and the great development of bilateral ties as well as stability and tranquility in East Asia over the past 40 years. If the Japanese authorities deny and attempt to write off with one stroke the consensus between the two nations, how can the situation of the Diaoyu Islands remain stable? How can China-Japan relations develop smoothly in the future? And how can Japan win trust from its neighbors as well as from the world?
In recent years, the Japanese government has continuously stirred up trouble regarding the issue of the Diaoyu Islands. Especially this year, it has placated and indulged right wing forces as they set off the storm of "island purchase" in order to pave the way for such purchase on its own. People have reason to believe that these actions by the Japanese side on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands are absolutely not accidental. The political tendency that they reflect is very worthy of vigilance. We cannot help but ask: After all, where is Japan going? Can Japan's future trend give reassurance to people?
The Chinese government has always placed importance on developing China-Japan relations. The two countries and the two peoples can only be friends, they cannot be mutual antagonists. Advancing the China-Japan strategic and mutually beneficial relationship is in conformity with the basic interests of the two countries and the two peoples and is conducive to safeguarding the general situation of regional peace, stability and development. But healthy, stable development of China-Japan relations requires the Japanese side to move toward and make joint efforts with the Chinese side. The action of "island purchase" by the Japanese government runs counter to maintaining the general situation of China-Japan relations.
The Chinese government has solemnly stated that the Japanese government's so-called "island purchase" is illegal, invalid and cannot in the least change the historical fact of the Japanese occupation of Chinese territory, and cannot in the least change China's territorial sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islets. The era of the Chinese people's humiliation has passed, not to return again. The Chinese government will not sit back as its territorial sovereignty is violated. The Chinese side strongly urges the Japanese side to immediately stop all acts that harm China's territorial sovereignty, come back 100 percent to the consensus and understanding reached by both sides and use negotiation to resolve disputes. If the Japanese side clings obstinately to its own course, all serious consequences from this can only be borne by the Japanese side.