BEIJING, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- China on Friday responded to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's new year message calling for cooperation in addressing bilateral problems by urging him to retreat from the wrong path and to never visit the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine again.
The Japanese government released Abe's message for the Chinese Lunar New Year on Thursday, in which he proposed the two countries return to the basic focus of establishing mutually beneficial strategic relations, overcoming obstacles and moving forward together.
China hopes the Japanese side will be honest and make solid efforts to improve bilateral ties, rather than sidestepping the core of the problem, and talking in one way while acting in another, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular press briefing.
"For the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, the Japanese leader's best message for the Chinese people and China-Japan ties should be this: he would step back from the brink regarding historical issues, acknowledge and correct his mistakes and never visit the shrine again," Qin said.
He said China has always attached great importance to China-Japan ties, and advocates developing bilateral ties based on the four political documents between both countries in the spirit of facing up to history.
Abe's visit to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine last December, where 14 Japanese Class-A World War II criminals are honored, sparked protests from China and the Republic of Korea (ROK), as well as international criticism. The visit caused further deterioration in Japan's relations with China and the ROK.
On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Abe compared current China-Japan relations to those between Britain and Germany ahead of World War I.
Qin denounced Abe's comments, condemning his arms-building efforts and intention to realize his domestic political aims by building tensions with neighboring countries.
Such ambitions are very dangerous, the spokesman added.
"The reason why China and the ROK firmly oppose such behavior is that it is a major issue of right and wrong that concerns regional and world peace and stability," Qin said.
The opposition revealed China's efforts to maintain regional peace and stability and safeguard the international order based on the victory in the international anti-fascist war, he said.
Abe's speech at Davos draws criticism
BEIJING, Jan. 24 (Xinhuanet) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is under fire again after comparing his country’s tense relations with China, with those of Germany and Britain before World War One. Abe’s historical reference has drawn criticism from both China and South Korea.
Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said China and Japan were in a "similar situation" to Britain and Germany before 1914, but conflict erupted between the two countries despite strong economic ties. He said both China and Japan should take lessons from that. Full story
Abe still self-contradictory
BEIJING, Jan. 24 (Xinhuanet) -- One moment, he sounded perfectly sane, alerting the world to the dangerous tensions that could potentially tear East Asia apart.
The next, he appeared the very opposite, convincing a global audience there is no way to undo the knot he has tied. Or at least he is not in the mood to undo it. Full story
China dismisses Abe's call for talks
BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday dismissed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's call for talks with Chinese leaders, arguing that it is insincere.
"We have repeatedly stated our position on this. The Japanese leader should not dream of having empty talks while refusing to acknowledge his mistakes and continuing to make negative remarks on China," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular press briefing. Full story