BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- China pledged on Saturday to defend "each inch" of its territory and ruled out any possibilities of compromise on history and territory issues with Japan.
"On the two issues of principle, history and territory, there is no room for compromise," Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, responding to a question about China-Japan relations.
The minister's remarks highlight the mounting tension between China and Japan over the territorial and historical rows. Relations between the two East Asian neighbors have reached a new low since Japan's "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands in September 2012 despite China's protests.
The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit at the end of last year to the Yasukuni Shrine, where Japan's war dead, including convicted Class-A war criminals, are honored was also slammed by China and other countries.
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 issues including history, Taiwan, and the Diaoyu Islands.
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," he added.
On Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang pledged to safeguard the victory of the Second World War and the post-war international order.
"We will not allow anyone to reverse the course of history," Li told the country's lawmakers at the opening of China's legislative session.
China, one of the major founders of the post-war international order, set two new national days last month, to mark victory in the anti-Japanese war and to commemorate the 300,000-plus Nanjing Massacre victims and all those killed in the Japanese aggression against China during the Second World War.
"The current situation is not something we want to see and is not in the interest of the people in either country," Wang told the Saturday press conference.
"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.
In response to a separate question regarding China's neighborhood diplomacy policy, Wang said his country is determined to defend "every inch" of its territory.
"We will never bully smaller countries, yet we will not accept unreasonable denounce from smaller countries," he said, adding that the general situation in China's neighborhood remains "stable and positive."
He said that China would like to carry out equal-footed consultation and negotiation, and properly handle its territorial and maritime disputes with some countries by peaceful means on the basis of historical facts and the international law.
"When others respect us, we respect them even more," Wang told the reporters.
China urges Japan's sincerity for pragmatic talks
BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday responded to Japan's call to set up a maritime communication mechanism to avoid a military clash in the East China Sea by asking the country to show sincerity and hold pragmatic talks with China on related issues.
"Not long ago, Japan unilaterally stirred up trouble and refused to have sincere and practical dialogue with China, which is the root cause of differences and disputes between the two countries on issues regarding the Diaoyu Islands and the East China Sea," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang. Full story
Abe loses credibility with Chinese gov't, people: spokesman
BEIJING, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has lost credibility with the Chinese government and the Chinese people as well, a spokesman of the Chinese political advisory body said Sunday.
Calling Abe a "regional troublemaker ... playing a double game," Lyu Xinhua, spokesman for the second session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), told a press conference that Abe's visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine has seriously undermined the political foundation for Sino-Japanese relations. Full story