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  • Aug 31, 2014
  • Updated: 5:09pm
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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36

This article is now closed to comments

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.
whymak
Smith:
More Filipinos were killed by Americans than by the Japanese during the colonial war in the era of Theodore Roosevelt administration. Filipinos too should be eternally grateful to the US.
In sum, lower races in Asia should learn to be warlike, democratic and bloodthirsty like England and US in order to keep their nations safe from occupation and foreign brutalities.
andreaswagner
China's atrocities in Tiananmen square and their occupied territories Tibet and East Turkestan are still very fresh in our minds.
Masako Owada
Are you a pitiful Filipino offspring of an Australian paedophile?
whymak
Owada:
You guessed right. It was syphilis in the embryonic brain transmitted by the Australian pedophile to the fetus, later born and known as reader andreawagner.
I have learned a lot from readers in this column.
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.
lanxin.wumao
The CCP thinks that Yasukuni is an abomination, willfully blind to the fact that Tiananmen, with the portrait of that **** Mao Zedong, is the real abomination.
China tasks Japan with so called "imperfect" apologies for world war 2?
And yet Mao Zedong and his CCP, who killed 45-60 Million Chinese during the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, more than all those killed in all the Sino-Japanese wars for 50 years, has zero apologies for those they murdered at a time of peace.
In the CCP's warped propagandistic mind no apology is somehow better that "imperfect" apology.
****gizmodo.com/5952694/which-dictator-killed-the-most-people/all
lamlm38
But Mao didnt do it purposely right? Since when stupidity is a crime?
btw, CCP is not alone in this.. just ask the South Koreans!
phandong
Xi is in Germany to spread out the message of hatred and animosity.Are the Germans comfortable with the message? No, Xi is barking on the wrong tree. German was a nation sparked two world wars and many of its Nazi leader were facing the Nuremberg Trials. Every German knows of his past, he or she does not need someone from the murderous regime to tell them the story. Ironically, Mao's culture revolution had killed more Chinese than the Japanese invasion, and the people from that quasi fascist regime come to German with a message of humanity. WE think the message of war brutality and humanity should come from another side of the world.
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.

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