China comes out with a white paper on disputed islands

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 16:16

Beijing: China Tuesday published a white paper rejecting Japan`s claim of sovereignty over islands in the East China Sea even as top officials of the two countries held talks for the second day to bring the tensions, which escalated in the recent weeks.

"Diaoyu Dao (islands), an Inherent Territory of China and claims by Japan fly in the face of facts and are totally unfounded, " the white paper published by Chinese government said. The islands were called as Senkaku by Japan.

Tensions flared up between the two countries after Japan bought the islands from private owners this month, which was staunchly opposed by China.

The white paper traces the history of China`s control over the uninhabited islands. The islands are currently under the control of Japan and both the countries deployed their coast guard ships in the waters to assert their sovereignty.

"Diaoyu Dao belongs to China. It is by no means `terra nullius`. China is the indisputable owner of Diaoyu Dao as it had exercised valid jurisdiction over the island for several hundred years long before the Japanese people `discovered` it", the white paper said.

The assertions came as Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun and his Japanese counterpart Chikao Kawai held a candid and in-depth exchange of views for the second day to scale down the tensions.

Zhang Zhijun pointed out that Diaoyu islands and its affiliated islands have been China`s sacred territory since ancient times, as historical and legal evidences have shown, said the statement.

The Japanese side, however, has disregarded the repeated and stern representations made by the Chinese side which accused Japan of violating the important understanding and consensus reached between the leaders of the two countries to leave the dispute for the future generation of leaders three decades ago.

"These acts constitute a gross violation of China` s territory. They are highly offensive to the 1.3 billion Chinese people, and gravely trample on historical facts and international law", the statement said.

"The Chinese side will absolutely not tolerate any unilateral action taken by the Japanese side that infringes on China`s territorial sovereignty. The Japanese side must abandon any illusion, face up to its erroneous actions and correct them with credible steps", it said.

"It should recommit itself to the consensus and understanding reached between the leaders of the two countries and meet China half way so as to bring China-Japan relations back onto the right track of sound and stable growth at an early date", the statement said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 16:06

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