Japan 'stole' our islands: China tells UN

2012-09-28 08:14

New York - China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi sparked angry exchanges with Japanese diplomats at the United Nations on Thursday by accusing Japan of stealing disputed islands.

Chinese and Japanese envoys staged a series of attacks after Yang heightened tensions over the East China Sea islands and reopened old diplomatic wounds over World War II.

The Japanese government's purchase of the uninhabited islands from a private owner this month has infuriated Beijing and set off violent protests in several Chinese cities.

"China strongly urges Japan to immediately stop all activities that violate China's territorial sovereignty, take concrete actions to correct its mistakes and return to the track of resolving the dispute through negotiation," Yang told the UN assembly.

China has demanded the return of the uninhabited islands, known as the Diaoyu in Chinese and the Senkaku in Japanese, for decades. Taiwan also claims the islands.

Yang reaffirmed his country's historical claim that Japan tricked China into signing a treaty ceding the islands in 1895. Japan states that the islands were legally incorporated into its territory.

Sharp exchanges

"The moves taken by Japan are totally illegal and invalid. They can in no way change the historical fact that Japan stole Diaoyu and its affiliated islands from China and the fact that China has territorial sovereignty over them," said the Chinese minister.

Japan's move was in "outright denial" of its defeat in World War II, he added, reaffirming China's repeated references to the 1939-45 war.

Yang and Japan's Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba held stern talks on the dispute in New York on Tuesday, and Yang's speech sparked sharp exchanges between Japanese and Chinese diplomats as each sought a right of reply.

Insisting that Japan legally incorporated the islands into its territory in 1895, Japan's deputy UN ambassador Kazuo Kodama said that "an assertion that Japan took the islands from China cannot logically stand".

Kodama added that the references to World War II were "unconvincing and unproductive".

China's UN envoy Li Baodong responded that "the Japanese delegate once again brazenly distorted history, resorting to spurious fallacious arguments that defy all reason and logic to justify their aggression of Chinese territory".

'The logic of robbers'

"The Japanese government still clings to its obsolete colonial mindset," Li added. "China is capable of safeguarding the integrity of its territory," the ambassador warned.

When Kodama responded that the islands "are clearly an inherent territory of Japan", Li returned to the attack. He said his Japanese counterpart "feels no guilt for Japan's history of aggression and colonialism".

The Japanese government's purchase of the islands is based purely on "the logic of robbers", he stormed.

  • arthur.hugh - 2012-09-28 09:53

    LOL he's starting to sound like Malema.

      yung.shlong - 2012-09-28 13:06

      You not know about China matters. This is a policy for our sovereign state to govern. Japan must realise there placed in the region.

  • richard.bosmano - 2012-09-28 10:13

    The chinese fella said "Yang reaffirmed his country's historical claim that Japan tricked China into signing a treaty ceding the islands in 1895. Japan states that the islands were legally incorporated into its territory." So the chinese were illiterate in 1895 ? BS. Don't they read a treaty/contract before signing it. If china was "tricked" into signing ,thats their folly. They must stop this imperialist attitude of theirs. They remind one of the marikana strikers and deserve the same treatment should they try seize Japanese territory.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-09-28 11:04

      It's called power relations, negotiating over the barrel of a gun. In fact China is trying to correct Japan's imperial attitude. By the way the same Japanese have another teritorial dispute with South Korea, as is China with Vietnam. It's the same kind of folly that led to WW11!

      JamesMichaelBerry - 2012-09-28 12:31

      gerhard.kress.3 - China's other territorial claims are a completely separate issue, this is completely irrelevant.

      JamesMichaelBerry - 2012-09-28 12:38

      Furthermore the use of the work trick here is inaccurate. If you know anything about history and international law then you would realise the basis of Japan's claim in completely illegal. The Treaty of Shimonoseki is considered invalid under international law since it was signed by China under extreme duress and coercion. The Japanese were obligated and agreed to return all stolen territories as outline in the Cairo and Potsdam decelerations after their defeat in WW2.

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-09-28 12:43

      The chinese printed maps of this area showing the disputed territories as japanese, as recently as 1960.

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-09-28 12:49

      Are the Falklands argentinian just because Argentina claims them? Why don't the US claim the Bahamas then?

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-09-28 12:53

      China has got territorial claims on all its borders. Mongolia, Russia, India etc. This will carry on forever. China are the new imperialists on the block. We should not let them get away with it. The fait accompli is what is needed.

      JamesMichaelBerry - 2012-09-28 12:59

      gerhard.kress.3 - your rebuttals are all completely irrelevant.

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-09-28 13:18

      Evidently China is looking for a return to the borders of 1895. Yes, wouldn't we all. At that time these disputed islands were not claimed by either nation, so Japan took them. Finito la musica.

      JamesMichaelBerry - 2012-09-28 13:29

      You are clearly in need of a history lesson. The Chinese had laid claim to the Diaoyu islands as early as 1534. If you haven't got anything intelligent to say I think I'll cease arguing with you.

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