“Absolutely no concession” on Diaoyu Islands, says Chinese premier

Premier Wen Jiabao said Monday the Diaoyu Islands are an inalienable part of China’s territory and China will “absolutely make no concession” on issues concerning its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Despite repeated solemn representations of China, the Japanese government announced Monday it would “purchase” part of China’s Diaoyu Islands from “private Japanese owners” and bring the islands under “state control.”Also Monday, Premier Wen pledged China won’t back down on issues surrounding the Diaoyu Islands.

“The Diaoyu Islands are an inalienable part of China’s territory, and the Chinese government and its people will absolutely make no concession on issues concerning its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Wen said while addressing an inauguration ceremony for a statue of late Chinese leaders Zhou Enlai and Chen Yi at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing.

China has repeatedly told Japan that it holds a firm stance that the Diaoyu Islands and adjacent islets have been an inalienable part of China’s territory since ancient times, and that any of Japan’s unilateral moves against Chinese nationals is illegal and invalid.

“The Chinese government and its people cherish their country’s hard-won national sovereignty and dignity more than anybody,” Wen told the students, noting that China has maintained such a firm and unyielding character even in situations of extreme hardship.

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