US culpable in Japan island dispute: China
APBEIJING--China said Monday that the U.S. has “undeniable historical responsibility” in Beijing's dispute with Japan over islands in the East China Sea, marking the second straight day that it has pinned some of the blame for the tensions on Washington.
January 22, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
While Beijing has not asked for outside mediation, its references to the U.S. appear to be an attempt to prompt Washington to use its influence to soften the stance of Japan, which has steadfastly refused to hold talks over the islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.
Japan argues that it has sovereignty over the islands and therefore there is nothing to negotiate. They were under U.S. control between 1945 and 1972, when they were returned to Japan, which originally annexed them in 1895. China claims sovereignty over the islands, as does Taiwan.
Washington acknowledges that the islands are under Japanese administration but doesn't take a position on who owns them. Beijing has repeatedly accused the U.S. of emboldening Tokyo by supporting its control over the islands and stating that any conflict over them would trigger the U.S.-Japan mutual defense pact.
“The U.S. bears undeniable historical responsibility,” on the issue, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular news conference Monday. “The U.S. comments ignore facts and confuse truth with untruth. China is strongly displeased and firmly opposed to it.”
In his comments, Hong said Beijing remains unswerving in its determination to assert its sovereignty, but that China and Japan were in contact on ways to ease tensions.
He urged U.S. officials to “responsibly treat the Diaoyu issue, watch their words and deeds, maintain regional stability and Sino-U.S. relations, so that the Chinese people can trust them.”