State sovereignty and territorial integrity are among China’s core interests. Hopes of any compromise, however small, on the Diaoyu Islands issue are delusional.
“We will not compromise on, concede or trade on territory and sovereignty, nor will we tolerate them being infringed on even a little bit,” said Defense Minister Chang Wanquan after he held talks with visiting US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in April.
Core interests are commonly regarded as something that a government is willing to fight over.
A white paper titled “China’s Peaceful Development,” which was released in 2011, underlined that China is firm in upholding its core interests, which include state sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity and national reunification.
As is known to all, the Diaoyu Islands have always been part of Chinese territory and China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands.
The issue of the Diaoyu Islands has been around for decades. Tensions only flared up after Japan moved to change the status quo by “nationalizing” some of the islands in 2012.
For China, such a move is completely unacceptable because it not only betrayed an unwritten agreement between the two countries to shelve the issue for future generations to solve, but also amounts to a unilateral and substantial plan to snatch the islands from China.
Since then, relations between the two East Asian neighbors have reached a new low. But Japan, not China, should shoulder the responsibilities.
Sovereignty and territory are core interests for any nation on this planet. There is no room for any compromise or concession. China will not swerve from its stance even if Japan seeks support from other nations.
In April, the United States and Japan issued a statement after US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held talks in Tokyo. The joint statement said the disputed Diaoyu Islands between Japan and China fell under the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security.
The US-Japan security treaty, an outcome of the Cold War, is inappropriate and violates the basic norms guiding international relations because it undermines a third party’s interests.
China has expressed grave concerns over the joint statement, urging the the United States and Japan to discard their Cold War mindset.
It has become clear that Japan, instead of making efforts to defuse the tension between the two nations, has been on a track to rattle regional security.
Japan is advancing a drive to revise the pacifist constitution put in place after World War II. In a recent move, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe used various innuendos to paint China as a threat in his keynote speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue on Friday. Abe added that the Self-Defense Forces should play a larger role in regional security.
Such steps taken by Japan should be noted by all peace-loving people in Asia and the world.
China is determined to defend “every inch” of its territory and has ruled out any possibility of compromise on historical and territorial issues with Japan.
In addition, it should be noted that China in 2014 is not the China of 1894, when Japan waged the First Sino-Japanese War, in which China was defeated.
Still, China, a nation that pursues peaceful development, hopes to appropriately resolve disputes through negotiations and consultations.