Chinese ambassador to the European Union Wu Hailong has rejected Japan’s latest claims over the Diaoyu Islands and warned against any attempt to deny history.
In a recent article published by the weekly newspaper New Europe last week, Wu rejected the Japanese assertion a Chinese map published sometime over the last century supported their claim China never made sovereignty claims to the Diaoyu Islands before the 1970s.
“The map in question raised by Japan is the World Atlas published in China. In that map, however, it has been clearly noted that Shenbao Newspaper library was the source of the mapping data, during which time it was under Japanese control as a result of the War of Aggression,” Wu wrote.
“Therefore, it simply makes no sense for the Japanese side to make a case for the sovereignty claim based on an individual map published, especially given the context of it as a result of the Japanese War of Aggression against China,” he said, adding many official maps published during the Qing and Ming dynasties had clearly marked the Diaoyu Islands as Chinese territory.
In addition, Wu said a senior Japanese official recently had intentionally quoted a part of a conversation between then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and then Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka in 1972 to deny the existence of competing sovereignty claims over the islands.
“A full review of that conversation in 1972 would suggest that the two leaders agreed to resolve the Diaoyu Islands issue ‘in the future’ in order to achieve the normalization of Sino-Japan relations… Today, however, the Japanese authority is trying openly to play the word game and to deny the history,” he wrote.
The ambassador said the recent developments suggested the Japanese side refused to change its wrong position, and had been unscrupulous in misleading the international community by misrepresenting the historical facts.
“Any attempt to misinterpret or deny history should be met with the strongest opposition,” the article said.
“One important lesson that the world should learn from Europe, as home to time-honored civilization, is that respect for history is the prerequisite for durable peace and prosperity… I strongly believe that the people of Europe, the same as the people in China, will not tolerate any reckless moves to go against history,” it concluded.