Diplomatic sources are saying that the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Berlin next month will be to discuss World War II issues, specifically to compare post-war actions by Germany and Japan. The two Asian countries have been locked in conflict the past years due to lingering historical issues from the Japanese occupation of China prior to and during the war.
China has in the past been comparing Germany’s apologies over the Nazi regime to that of Japanese politicians’ controversial statements over their wartime aggression that seems to undermine the past apologies offered by previous administrations. But a focus on World War II issues is not something that Berlin is very keen on discussing. “Germany is not happy,” said the diplomatic source. Another source said that China wanted Xi Jinping to visit the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin but that idea was immediately rejected by the German government. China is now looking at having the president visit the Neue Wache Memorial, a shrine for the war dead but not for convicted war criminals.
China’s Foreign Ministry has not issued a statement about these reports, saying that the trip has not been officially announced. But recent visits by Chinese leaders to Europe have been highlighting Germany’s contrition as the right way to deal with their war atrocities. When asked to comment on this, Japan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Masaru Sato said that Japan has been on a “peaceful path” and that it was China that’s causing the tension in the region because of their provocative actions. “Reconciliation requires not only a former perpetrator’s sincerity and gesture of atonement, but also a former victim’s acceptance,” he said, referring also to the fact that Japan has been asking for a meeting with Beijing to discuss historical issues, which China has continually refused to participate in.
[ via World Bulletin ]
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