China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily press conference that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s logic is ridiculous. This was in response to Abe’s speech, made while he was at Washington, to the effect that Japan’s ownership of the islands has basis both in history and in international law. He told the audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Friday, February 22, that no nation had questioned Japan’s control over the Senkakus between 1895 and 1971. To which, Hua shot back that no nation had questioned China’s sovereignty over them for almost 500 years between the 15th century and 1895.
“After the end of World War II, Japan did not fulfill its due international obligation as a defeated country in accordance with the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation and did not return the Diaoyu Islands to China,” Hua said. She likened it to a person stealing something and keeping it. She said that whichever way one looks at it, the nature of that person’s ownership over the thing will always be illegal. Similarly, according to her, “all activities of Japan regarding the Diaoyu Islands are based on illegal theft and occupation and are therefore illegal and invalid.”
Nevertheless, Hua said China’s position on the progressive relations between Japan and China based on the “four political documents” has not changed. She continued by urging the Japanese government to show sincerity through substantial actions. Furthermore, in terms of Japan joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement, Hua said that China welcomes all cooperative proposals aimed at helping to promote economic cooperation and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.[via Asia One]