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  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 10:00am
Xi Jinping
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Wartime atrocities still fresh in memory, President Xi Jinping says in Berlin

Xi says in Berlin that China must build up defences, while stressing desire for peace

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 March, 2014, 5:51am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 March, 2014, 5:51am

President Xi Jinping said during his visit to Germany that Japanese atrocities during the second world war were still "fresh in the memory" in China and that the nation needed to build its defences to safeguard against aggression.

In a speech in Berlin, Xi also reiterated that China's rise posed no threat to the world and that it was committed to creating friendly partnerships with its neighbours.

His comments came after an earlier speech in France during the president's European tour in which Xi compared China to an "awakened lion" which he said was "peaceful, pleasant and civilised".

In his speech in the German capital, Xi also said China was no Mephisto, a fictional demon character in German literature.

"Some view China through coloured glasses and believe it will inevitably become a threat and even portray China as being the terrifying Mephisto who will someday suck the soul of the world," he said.

These opinions, he said, highlighted deep prejudices against China.

Xi mentioned Japanese aggression twice in his speech and said China understood the importance of peace.

"The war of aggression committed by Japan militarism alone inflicted over 35 million Chinese military and civilian casualties.

"These atrocities are still fresh in our memory … China needs peace as much as human beings need air and plants need sunshine," he told a forum attended by politicians and business representatives.

In a question-and-answer session at the forum, Xi appeared willing to take on some sensitive questions, including China's territorial disputes in the South China Sea with neighbours and the nation's defence budget.

"It is purely normal and consistent with China's need to defend itself as a large country in the world," he said of China's defence spending.

"On the issue of the South China Sea, we will not provoke trouble ourselves. But when it comes to our sovereignty and territorial integrity we will firmly safeguard our interests."

Business ties took centre stage at Xi's meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The two leaders oversaw the signing of deals including agreements by carmakers Daimler and BMW to deepen ties with their Chinese partners.

A deal was also signed between the countries' central banks that will allow yuan-denominated payments to be cleared and settled in Germany's financial centre, Frankfurt.

Xi also called for a "quantum leap" to boost economic ties with Germany.

Germany is China's largest European trading partner, while China is Germany's biggest export market outside Europe after the United States.

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Max Diethelm
Whatever China is, one big difference in the past relationship between China and Japan is that China was a victim of Japanese militarism that was so barbaric that most Asians including the Dutch, British and Americans were also victims of Japanese barbarism. Japanese leaders puts themselves in a bad light by denying the horrible war history and by provoking the victims of Japanese aggression. Japan needs to repent like Germany did or will be a pariah country forever.
Dai Muff
When Japanese atrocities are still fresh, while Cultural Revolution atrocities are forgotten, one must ask WHO is keeping those memories fresh, and why.
J R
What's your point? By your logic Hirohito killed millions of Japanese by leading them into an unwinnable war and not preventing earthquakes and tsunamis, your uncle Ho Chi Minh killed millions of Vietnamese fighting the French and US with aid from Russia and China.
Jonathan Smith
Japan is extremely grateful to the US for the atomic bombings of Japan to end World War 2. If the war is prolonged, millions more Japanese would have been killed. So it was a very humane thing for the US to do in order to shorten the war. Because of this, Japanese today including Shinzo Abe looks to the US as saviours and finds the US occupation of Japan very satisfactory.
hongkiejj@malaysiaboleh
if the western world do not want to get involved into this dispute, then it is perfectly the best scenario.
xi does not need western help in dealing with abe. xi just need them to stay neutral and step aside.
let china and japan trash this thing out themselves.
andreaswagner
China's atrocities in Tiananmen square and their occupied territories Tibet and East Turkestan are still very fresh in our minds.
Jonathan Smith
Pitiful mind. Quite rotten and rabid by now. There's a cure for it available at the Yakusuni War Shrine where Shinzo Abe can personally give you a miraculous cure.
I Gandhi
Japanese fascists including PM Shinzo Abe have been keeping past Japanese militarism and barbarism in the forefront of Japanese revisionist policies including issues like the comfort-women and the Kamikazes story. Japanese Kamikaze pilots committing suicide missions only shows Japan's misplaced beliefs in a false Shinto religion and the God Emperor. Japanese bravery was absolute against defenceless people like the comfort-women but when the war-criminals were hanged these bastar*ds were shitti*ng in their pants and crying like babies even more pathetic than the most cowardly mongrels of all. After unconditionally surrendering because of only two atomic bombs, these Japanese fascists immediately arranged for thousands of Japanese girls to become prostitutes of the American soldiers occupying Japan. So the Japanese rampage across Asia was just to end with Japanese becoming American prostitutes, the God Emperor losing his divinity and the false Shinto Religion still stirring up Japanese madness. No wonder the Japanese have to pray to devils and war-criminals at the Yasukuni War Shrine.
HiggsSinglet
"These atrocities are still fresh in our memory..." That is because they (PRC) choose to teach hate and nationalism rather than heal!!!
I Gandhi
The media in Europe and the US are full of hate and venom against Muslims and minorities including blacks. If China even did 1% of what goes on in American churches there wouldn't be any minority problems in China. Just like the Native American Indians, the Blacks or Hispanics, the Muslim freedom fighters all will be locked up in reservations, jail or Guantanamo.

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