BEIJING, March 4 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese spokeswoman on Monday blamed Japan for causing the current tensions in bilateral relations by breaking the two nations' consensus on the Diaoyu Islands issue.
Fu Ying, spokeswoman for the first session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature, said China is willing to resolve disputes through negotiations.
However, "one hand alone can't clap," Fu said, quoting a Chinese proverb to indicate that Japan has failed to engage in negotiations.
She said the Japanese government's move to "purchase" part of the Diaoyu Islands last year went against the consensus reached by the two countries, which in turn shook China's basis for maintaining restraint.
"That's the reason why China sent patrol vessels to the Diaoyu Islands area," said Fu, a veteran diplomat.
"If the other party chooses to take tougher measures and abandon consensus, 'it is impolite not to reciprocate,' as another Chinese proverb says," she said.
The disputes over the Diaoyu Islands, which were triggered by Japan last year and have not been handled well by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration, have become the biggest challenge in improving China-Japan relations.
Historically, the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets had been part of Chinese territory until 1895, when Japan illegally seized them, Fu said.
The islands have appeared on China's map since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), more than 400 years before Japan claimed the discovery of the islands in 1884.
It is also an undeniable fact that Japan was ordered to return all occupied territories to China according to the principles of the Cairo Declaration of 1943 and the Potsdam Proclamation of 1945, Fu said.
"We wish Japanese society and all sides could listen attentively to the voice of the Chinese people and put what happened in the past and what is happening now in perspective, so the two countries find a basis for the dialogue," said Fu.