China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs put out a long statement concerning Noda’s recent remarks on the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. It’s mostly the same line, but with some interesting changes. The use of exclamation marks below is the same as in the original; emphasis through bold text is my own. Xinhua summarized these remarks, but below is my translation of the official transcript as it reads on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Qin Gang answers a journalist’s question concerning Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s remarks at the United Nations General Assembly about the Diaoyu Islands
Q: On September 26, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held a press conference after his speech at the UNGA, and said that “the Senkaku Islands are an inherent part of [Japan’s] territory in light of history and also under international law. There are no territorial issues as such. Therefore, there cannot be any compromise that represents a retreat from this position.” What is China’s evaluation of these remarks?
A: China expresses extreme dissatisfaction and maintains its opposition to Japanese leaders’ stubbornness in holding this mistaken position on the Diaoyu Islands.
The Diaoyu Islands have always been China’s inherent territory. China has a wealth of historical and legal basis for this. Japan occupied the Diaoyu Islands during the Sino-Japanese War in 1895, illegally seizing them and forcing the Qing government to sign an unfair treaty ceding all islands of Taiwan. After World War II, China reclaimed all of Chinese territory Japan had occupied, including Taiwan, in accordance with such international legal documents as the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation. The Diaoyu Islands have also been returned to China under international law. The Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation are the great fruits of the world’s war against fascism; they are an important cornerstone in the post-war international order. In 1945, the Japan signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender accepting this. From the very beginning, China has opposed and has not recognized as valid the backroom dealings between the US and Japan for the Diaoyu Islands. The Chinese people made great sacrifices and contributions to the world’s victory in the war against fascism. Yet a defeated country still seeks to occupy a victorious country’s territory, is that not ridiculous?! Japan’s position and actions regarding the Diaoyu Islands issue have violated the principles and spirit of the UN Charter. It has been fundamentally unable to thoroughly reassess and account for Japan’s history as a military occupier. It seeks to deny the results of the world’s victory in its war against fascism and challenge the post-war international order. For these reasons, the international community should be extremely wary. The verdict of history cannot be overturned. The extreme tragedies of World War II cannot be forgotten. The peace and security that the United Nations protects cannot be threatened. The provocations that go against universal truths accepted by the world and human conscience will not be tolerated! The Japanese government’s so-called “purchase of the islands” is completely illegal, ineffective, and does not in the slightest change the historical truth of Japan’s occupation of Chinese territory. It does not in the slightest change China’s sovereign right to the Diaoyu Islands. The Chinese government and people are firmly committed to protecting their national sovereign territory. It is absolutely impossible for Japan’s illegal conspiracy to succeed! Japan should cease all actions which infringe on China’s territorial sovereignty, whether according to history or international law, and should not continue to make the same mistake and deceive the people of the world.