China voices its discontent with Japan’s annual white paper

Beijing says ‘dissatisfied’ with Tokyo’s review of annual white paper which demanded China to halt its maritime assertiveness in seas surrounding Japan

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

China's Foreign and Defence Ministries on Wednesday expressed Beijing’s "strong dissatisfaction" and discontent with Japan’s annual of defense strategy paper on Tuesday which had blamed China for its offensive and maritime claims in East and South China Seas.

China’s Foreign Ministry claimed that Japan’s defence strategy paper entitled as "Defense of Japan 2015," but briefly known as the “white paper,” would only serve to create tension between the parties.

Japan’s Defence Ministry on Tuesday highlighted its concerns over China’s recent political and military presence in both East and South China Seas where Beijing has long been exploring energy resources and claiming some territorial rights through building artificial islands.

The ministry called China in an annual strategy paper to terminate "coercive attempt" at land reclamations and oil drills in the seas surrounding Japan.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement that the Japanese strategy paper was relying on the creation of an artificial "China threat" to soar the tension, and denied the Japanese allegations as it said China was only conducting "normal military development and marine activities."

"Japanese defense paper ignores facts, makes irresponsible remarks... deliberately plays up the 'China threat' and stirs up tensions," the statement said according to China’s official Xinhua agency.

"The Chinese side expresses its strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition," the Chinese spokesman added in the statement.

However, the Chinese Defence Ministry further accused Japan of being “two-faced” in its foreign policy and stated that China has the rights to respond to a "necessary reaction depending on the situation" over Japan’s white paper claims.

"This kind of action completely lays bare the two-faced nature of Japan's foreign policy and has a detrimental impact on peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region," the ministry said in a statement issued late on Tuesday.

Tokyo asserted in its defence strategy that Beijing was acting "unilaterally and without compromise" in order to change status quo in the region via its increasing maritime activities.

Japan and China have been confronting on some uninhabited islets that were previously controlled by Beijing, but nationalised by Tokyo in 2012 to which Japan calls Senkaku and China calls Diaoyu in the East China Sea.

Kang asserted that Chinese maritime activities and territorial claims in the seas covering between China and Japan were convenient with the international law.

"The Diaoyu islands have belonged to China since ancient times ... China will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and Japan should not hold any unrealistic illusions."  

The 429-page long Japanese white paper warned China as it said such measures "include dangerous acts that could cause unintended consequences" unless Beijing halt its offensive activities.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was re-elected with an overwhelming majority in a snap election at the end of the last year, has been trying to review Japan’s pacifist constitution in order to build up a re-assertive Japanese security vision to which some of Japanese public essentially objected.

Abe’s incumbent ruling Liberal Democratic Party last week passed a legislation in the powerful lower house of parliament which allows the country’s security forces to fight outside the country for the first time since the Second World War.

Hence Japan’s move towards redefining its new security role which enables Tokyo’s military to fight abroad signals a huge policy change from its conventional isolation for the first time since World War Two when the country was attacked by the US nuclear bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  



TRTWorld and agencies