Chinese ambassador to Japan insists upon the peaceful settlement of the Senkaku Islands dispute

Chinese ambassador to Japan insists upon the peaceful settlement of the Senkaku Islands dispute

With regard to the Senkaku Islands dispute, on April 2 at the Chinese ambassador’s residence in Tokyo, Chinese ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua said that China and Japan should work to peacefully improve China-Japan relations by negotiation.

April 3 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

On April 2, Ambassador Cheng Yonghua agreed to an exclusive interview with the Ryuyku Shimpo at the Chinese ambassador’s residence in Tokyo.

With regard to Japan-China relations having been negatively affected by the dispute over the Senkaku Islands, othewise known as Diaoyu in Chinese, Cheng said, “Neither countries should resort to the use of either military force or menacing behavior to resolve disputes.” Cheng went on to say, “Both countries should peacefully resolve the dispute through negotiation.”
Cheng said, “China and Japan should get back on track to further deepen cultural and economic relations.”

In the middle of March, in the wake of rising tensions between China and Japan due to the dispute, the Ryukyu Shimpo asked the Chinese Embassy in Japan for an interview with Cheng to ascertain the intentions and future policy of the Chinese government.

As the Chinese government has done in the past, Cheng claimed sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands, saying, “The islands are historically Chinese territory. China has been administering Diaoyu since at least as far back as the Ming dynasty.” In that context, Cheng pointed out, “The Japanese government’s nationalization of the Senkaku Islands by purchasing them in September 2012 effectively destroyed the agreement that had been in place between China and Japan to put this territorial dispute aside 40 years ago.” Cheng said, “The Chinese government sent Chinese official ships to the sea around the islands because we had to protect China’s interest.”

Cheng added, “The relationship between China and Japan has now entered its most difficult phase of the past 40 years, since the normalization of diplomatic relations between our two countries. We might not be able to swiftly settle this dispute, but we do want to continue discussion.” Cheng went on to say, “Essentially, China and Japan have a strategic partnership that is of mutual benefit. We should develop a collaborative alliance that matches both countries’ national interests.”

Cheng denied that China would invade Okinawa, saying, “China has no intention whatsoever of doing anything against Okinawa.” He went on to say, “China has a very deep relationship with Okinawa with our shared historical backgrounds. We feel a sense of closeness with Okinawa in terms of culture and lifestyle.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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