As tensions between China and Japan escalate over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, Beijing has moved its diplomatic mission in Islamabad to highlight its position regarding the dispute.
“China and Pakistan have always supported each other on almost every issue … and we wish our position is understood by the government and the people,” said Political Counselor Huang Xilian during a briefing at the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad on Monday.
Huang, however, made it clear that China did not require international arbitration. “We can solve the problem bilaterally if Japan is sincere enough. We want peace; not war.”
Earlier this month, the Japanese government announced its decision to purchase Diaoyu and its affiliated islands: Nan Xiaodao and Bei Xiaodao. However, violent protests erupted all over China following the announcement.
“This constitutes a gross violation of China’s sovereignty over its own territory and [the offer] is highly offensive to the 1.3 billion Chinese people. It seriously tramples on historical facts and international jurisprudence,” Huang added.
“We can prove it to the world that Japan had recognised the islands to be a part of Chinese territory,” he added.
Responding to what the Chinese expectations from the US were, Huang replied that the US recognised the gravity of the issue and that the Chinese government would want the US to play a more active role in resolving the issue.
Huang stated that the future relations between China and Japan depend on Tokyo’s plan of action.
“Long gone are the days when the Chinese nation was subjected to bullying and humiliation from others. The Chinese government will not watch its territorial sovereignty being infringed upon,” he added.
If Japan insisted on going about its way, he said, it will have to face severe consequences.
Huang stated that the Chinese government has always held high importance to developing relations with Japan but “purchase” of the Diaoyu Island by the Japanese government runs counter to the goal of strengthening ties between the countries.
He insisted that if Tokyo did not stop from going on about its way Beijing will have to take concrete steps to strengthen its sovereignty. He added that the Chinese government has submitted their base line regarding the issue to the United Nations.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 18th, 2012.
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