“No foreign country should expect us to make a deal on our core interests and hope we will swallow the bitter pill that will damage our sovereignty, security and development interests.” These were strong words from Chinese leader Xi Jinping as he spoke to the Communist Party’s executive committee.
The statement is keeping in line with China‘s recent moves on territorial disputes, particularly on the issue with Japan regarding the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. Xi emphasized that they will be pursuing peaceful development, but when it comes to their “legitimate rights” on territorial issues, they will not sacrifice their sovereignty and security. Xi, the son of one of the founding fathers of the Communist state, has been observed to take an assertive stance in disputes not just with Japan, but with Vietnam (Parcel Islands) and the Philippines (Scarborough Shoal) as well.
But it is with Japan that tension has been the highest, with both countries playing cat and mouse games in the air and sea surrounding the disputed islands that has rich fishing grounds and potential mineral-rich resources. A high-level meeting between the two countries, the first since tensions escalated in September of last year, was held last week when Xi met with an envoy from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of the Liberal Democratic Party’s junior party New Komeito, brought a letter from the PM himself and discussed a possible summit between the two leaders to find a way to settle the dispute, which has brought damage to trade and tourism to both countries.[ via The Republic ]