China urges Japan to reverse Senkakus nationalization

China is urging Japan to “make concrete efforts” to improve relations with Beijing, demanding that Japan reverse the nationalization of the Japanese-administered, Chinese-claimed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and address the issue through dialogue and negotiations.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi says the deterioration in bilateral relations was “single-handedly” caused by Japan, accusing it of “illegally” seizing and occupying what he said was China’s territory after the Japanese government purchased some of the uninhabited islands from a private Japanese owner in September last year to put the uninhabited isles under state control. “The Chinese side believes that the Japanese side needs to face up to reality,” Yang says, and “take real steps to correct its mistakes and work with us to handle and resolve relevant issues through dialogue and consultations so as to prevent further escalation of the situation or even letting it get out of control.”

Yang says that Japan should not escalate tensions with China, speaking of the differences between the two countries over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

Last September, Japan nationalized three of the five islands in the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa. China, which calls the islands Diaoyu, claims them as its own.
Yang claims that Japan’s action violated China’s territorial sovereignty and that it is Japan’s challenge to the world order after World War II.

He also insisted that Japan seriously damaged bilateral relations and regional stability. It is possible to earn the future only by respecting the history, he added, in an apparent message to hardliners in Japan. During the ongoing National People’s Congress, Yang is expected to be promoted to vice premier-level state councilor in charge of diplomatic affairs. Wang Yi, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of China’s State Council, is set to succeed Yang.