China voiced its opposition on April 30 to “any interference by regional outsiders” in disputes between the country and its neighbors.
The Ministry of National Defense’s response follows accusations made against China by the United States and Japan over the South China Sea issue.
“No one should underestimate our determination and capability to champion our justified rights and interests,” ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said at a news conference.
On April 28, standing alongside visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, US President Barack Obama backed Japan’s so-called administration over China’s Diaoyu Islands, and accused China of “flexing its muscles” over the South China Sea issue.
According to newly revised bilateral defense guidelines announced during the visit, Japan could deploy its Self-Defense Forces in remote areas worldwide by playing a more proactive role with reduced limits on the use of force to support US military operations.
Geng said Beijing has been focusing on the US-Japan guidelines and on the China-related comments made by senior officials.
As the US-Japan alliance is strengthening and its area of cooperation seeks a global reach, “the potential impact brought to world peace and stability deserves great attention from all parties”, he said.
Yang Bojiang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the alliance between the US and Japan is “serving Washington’s ultimate goal of securing hegemony in the region”.
In a high-profile speech on April 29, Abe expressed “deep remorse” over Japan’s “actions” before and during World War II that “brought suffering” to other Asian countries.
He soon drew criticism because he again failed to deliver an unequivocal apology.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on April 30 that Beijing has been consistently calling for the Japanese government to take a responsible attitude toward history.
Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China expects Japan to “remain committed to the statements and promises delivered by past Cabinets regarding facing up squarely and repenting thoroughly about past aggression－such as those delivered by the Murayama Statement”.
“Only by doing so can Japan gain trust from the international community”, Hong said.
The Murayama Statement was released by then Japanese prime minister Tomiichi Murayama on Aug 15, 1995. In it, he apologized for the damage and suffering caused by Japan to its Asian neighbors.
Feng Wei, a professor of Japanese studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said the US has recently sent signals to Japan on tackling historical issues.
These signals were sent because the remarks made by Abe are “impacting US interests as well as the trilateral collaboration among the US, Japan and South Korea”, Feng said.
Xinhua contributed to this story.