China on Friday made strong representations to Japan over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s comments that characterized Beijing as having a “deeply ingrained” need to challenge neighbors over territory.
“China is strongly dissatisfied with the Japanese leader’s comments that distort facts, attack and defame China and stir up confrontations between the two countries,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing on Friday.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Abe said China has a “deeply ingrained” need to spar with Japan and other Asian neighbors over territory, because the ruling Communist Party of China uses the disputes to maintain strong domestic support.
Abe began a visit to the United States on Thursday, the same day his comments were published in the Washington Post.
Hong urged the Japanese government and leaders to take a correct view of China and its development, pursue positive policy with China, show sincerity through actions and make efforts to improve bilateral relations.
Hong said China carries out normal maritime activities in accordance with domestic and international law.
“Thus, navigational freedom and security in the East China Sea and South China Sea have never been affected,” Hong said.
The spokesman said Japan intends to play up the “China threat,” mislead world opinion and purposely create regional tensions, and the country has ulterior motives.
“Japan should do more to enhance bilateral trust in politics and security and work for regional peace and stability, rather than act contrarily,” Hong said.
Hong reaffirmed that the Diaoyu Islands are China’s inherent territory and China’s sovereignty over them is indisputable.
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