BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- China will not give any ground on issues of history and territory, said Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday when responding to a question about China-Japan relations.
"On the two issues of principle, history and territory, there is no room for compromise," Wang told a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing annual session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.
The minister's remarks highlight the mounting tension between China and Japan over the territorial and historical rows. Relations between the two East Asian nations have reached a new low since Japan's "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands in September 2012 despite China's protests.
Wang said that if some people in Japan insist on overturning the history of its past aggression, the international community and all peace-loving people in the world will not tolerate or condone that.
"2014 is not 1914, still less 1894," said the minister, responding to the parallel some have drawn between the current China-Japan relations and the Germany-Britain relations before the First World War.
"I want to emphasize that instead of using Germany before the First World War as an object lesson, why not use Germany after the Second World War as a role model?" he added.
In 1894, Japan waged the First Sino-Japanese War where China was defeated.
China and Japan normalized the diplomatic relations in 1972 after reaching important common understanding and consensus on properly handling history, Taiwan, Diaoyu Islands and other issues.
They are the precondition for the normalization of the diplomatic relations and the basis for a return to friendly relations, Wang said.
"The recent comments and actions of the Japanese leader betrayed the spirit of 1972 and undermined the foundation of China-Japan relations. The Chinese people cannot and will not accept it," Wang said.
"The current situation is not something we want to see and is not in the interest of the people in either country," he added.
"Only by making a clean break with the past and stop going back on one's own words, can the relationship emerge from the current impasse and have a future," the minister added.
"Only by truly committing to a peaceful path and stop saying something but doing something else, can a country gain the trust of its neighbors and the world," Wang said, adding that he hopes the Japanese leader can understand these basic points and respect the bottom line of human conscience and international justice.
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