China’s Foreign Ministry denounced statements made by Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the G7 summit at The Hague when he compared the Russia-Crimea situation to that of China various territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas. Abe said that the world’s number 2 economy is trying to change the status quo in the region by strengthening its military.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that Abe’s statements were “out of place” and that his words were “hypocritical” considering he has been vocal about mending the ties between their two countries. “These comments again expose his true face,” Hong told the media in a regular briefing. He claims that Abe has been trying to destroy China’s reputation in international circles by misleading statements which are just “prevarication and deliberate falsehoods.” Regarding the highly-disputed Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyus in China, Hong said that it was their neighbour who “illegaly snatched” the uninhabited islands.
Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida meanwhile emphasized that there must be a high-level dialogue to repair relations, but now it is up to China to make the next move. “Regrettably, China and South Korea have maintained a stance that Japan’s action on individual (bilateral) issues should come first. But it is clear neither of us can readily make a concession on the issues of history and territory,” he said. Kishida said that unless these territorial and historical issues are resolved, there is probably no chance for a proper dialogue. This latest controversy comes after Abe made headway in repairing relations with its other neighbour, when he met with South Korean President Park-Geun Hye last week in a trilateral summit with US President Barack Obama. This was the first formal meeting between Abe and Park since they both came into office, amidst tensions between the two countries.
[ via Reuters ]