Peaceful development but not endless patience

By Zheng Sheng
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, September 27, 2010
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Japan's move on the Diaoyu Islands angered the Chinese people and undermined bilateral ties. China has made a strong protest and demanded an apology and compensation.

It is a difficult period in Sino-Japanese relations. Japan's leaders have already indicated they recognize signs of deterioration and have signaled they want to repair relations with China. But putting Sino-Japanese relations back on the right track is not just a matter of paying lip service.

"The Japanese government must take real actions and swiftly correct its mistake," Premier Wen Jiabao said in a speech to world leaders at the annual general debate of the UN General Assembly, "China stresses friendship, but also principles. In relation to sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Chinese never give in, never compromise."

The Diaoyu Islands have been an integral part of China territory since ancient times and China possesses indisputable sovereignty over them. Holding the Chinese captain and his crew in order to "collect evidence" was illegal and invalid.

China unswervingly follows the road of peaceful development and consistently advocates resolving issues through dialogue and consultation. In the early 1980s, Deng Xiaoping proposed shelving disputes and engaging in joint development. But setting aside disputes does not mean giving up sovereignty.

The unlawful arrest of the Chinese fishermen once again exposed Japan's real attitude towards Sino-Japanese relations. Japanese leaders often say they see China and China's development from a new perspective, but Japan's actions show it has not thrown off the "old thinking," that China is a threat that must be contained.

China and Japan are close neighbors who should stick to developing strategic and mutually-beneficial relations and resolving problems through dialogue and consultation. China's position has not, and will not, change in this regard.

Political wisdom will be needed to develop Sino-Japanese relations and we all need to take the long term view.

(This article was translated by MaYujia.)

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