About 300 overseas Chinese staged a peaceful protest here against the Japanese government’s so-called “purchase” of China’s Diaoyu Islands and to commemorate the Sept. 18th incident in 1931.
The demonstrators gathered in front of the Japanese Embassy in Washington D.C. Sunday morning, holding banners and placards in Chinese or English written with slogans such as “The Diaoyu Islands belong to China” and “Chinese United to Support China’s Sovereignty over Diaoyu Islands.”
The protest was organized by Chinese American Committee for Diaoyu Islands Sovereignty in Washington, an organization formed by dozens of local organizations and business entities for Chinese across the Taiwan Strait.
Wu Huiqiu, chairman of the National Association for China’s Peaceful Unification in Washington D.C., told Xinhua that the protest aimed to send a clear message to the Japanese government that they should respect Chinese sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands, cease “all unilateral, irresponsible and provocative actions” regarding the islands and the surrounding waters and take productive actions to resolve the conflict.
Demonstrators have signed a written protest over the Diaoyu Islands and will present it to the Japanese Embassy in Washington D.C. ahead of Sept. 18, the anniversary of Japan’s invasion.
On Sept. 18, 1931, Japanese forces attacked the barracks of Chinese troops in Shenyang, marking the beginning of the Japanese invasion and occupation that lasted 14 years.
Chinese Americans in Washington D.C. also took part in a signature collecting campaign across the country for a petition to be submitted to the U.S. government and Congress on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands.
Wu said people signed the petition to urge the U.S. government to clarify that Diaoyu Islands are not covered by the security treaty between the United States and Japan, and to take a neutral position and not side with Japan in the territorial dispute over the Diaoyu Islands.
Huang Qizhi, an 88-year-old activist supporting Chinese sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands for decades, told Xinhua that support for Japan’s provocations over the Diaoyu Islands would help breed the Japanese militarism, the memories of which still haunted him, a victim of Japan’s invasion of China, like many other people in the Asia-Pacific region.
Yan Ni, a Chinese student from Washington-based Georgetown University, said she came to join the peaceful protest to show ordinary Chinese people’s “love for peace and firm stand on protecting our own territory.”
Several metropolitan areas across the United States, including Chicago, Houston, New York, San Francisco and Los Angles, joined the protests running from Sept. 15 to Sept.18 against Japan’s provocations over the Diaoyu Islands to voice support for China’s sovereignty over the islands.
The Japanese government last week formally signed a contract to “purchase” part of the Diaoyu Islands, triggering widespread anti-Japanese protests in China and abroad.