• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 10:14am

Japan can choose to be ally or threat, says China's ex-foreign minister

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 June, 2014, 3:49pm
UPDATED : Friday, 06 June, 2014, 7:45am

A veteran Chinese diplomat called on Tokyo to think carefully about whether it regarded China as a friend or a threat as he took part in a meeting in Japan intended to improve badly frayed ties.

Retired state councillor Tang Jiaxuan said both China and Japan needed to "reaffirm their understanding of each other" to determine if the other side was a partner or a threat, and had an "urgent need" to resolve historical and territorial disputes.

"It is regrettable that there are fewer people in Japan taking China as an opportunity, but rather spreading noise of a 'China threat' and demonising China.

"Whether this is in line with objective conditions and the interests of Japan is worth deep introspection by the Japanese," he said.

Creating tensions is an irresponsible act of playing with fire
Tang Jiaxuan

Tang said Sino-Japanese ties had reached their "most severe condition" since they were normalised in 1972, and he criticised Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni war shrine in December and his handling of territorial disputes for the worsening relations.

"Hyping the threat theory and even saying China is attempting to change the status quo by strength, and intentionally creating tensions is an irresponsible act of playing with fire."

He was talking as head of the Chinese side of a bilateral New Japan-China Friendship Committee in a meeting attended by senior public and business figures from both nations in the Japanese city of Nagasaki.

The committee was composed of scholars, experts and former officials of both nations. Tang's address was the first meeting of the committee since their exchanges were suspended in 2012, after Japan nationalised a cluster of islands also claimed by Beijing in the East China Sea.

Observers said Tang's remarks were a warning to Tokyo.

"There are more Japanese believing China is a threat, and it will be a serious problem for bilateral ties if Tokyo shifts its strategic perception of China," said Professor Lian Degui of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.

Tang's two-day trip comes a month after a delegation of Japanese lawmakers held meetings with senior officials from the Chinese Communist Party, aimed at containing the rising tensions between the two countries.

But the two nations still clashed at a regional security summit in Singapore last week, during which Abe vowed to offer the "utmost support" to Southeast Asian countries locked in maritime disputes with China.

Tang said Tokyo's attempts to consolidate military alliances with other nations would lead to more trouble. But he also struck a positive note, saying the two nations needed to enhance mutual trust and that their current difficulties were "only temporary".


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This article is now closed to comments

Japan is not the one "demonizing" China ..... China's own irresponsible behavior is doing that all on it's own. Countless territorial disputes, refusing to acknowledge international boundaries, ramming ships, placing oil rigs in other countries. If China expects any country (especially Japan) to become an ally then they need to start behaving like a progressive, responsible entity in the region ... not an unpredictable, bipolar, bully who always points the finger at others without ever looking at themselves.
Max Diethelm
Japan can go to hell.
A Kuro
Japan is an evil country that God will destroy! Fukushima was just the start.
With the memory of the Japanese invasion of a large part of Asia so fresh and recent, I very much doubt those countries once brutally occupied by Japan would honestly take Japan as a serious ally. It is more for diplomatic convenience to counter-balance China. I don't think anyone wants to say or admit it (because it is politically incorrect), would you like to sleep with a wolf? We have parents whose lives were affected by the Japanese occupation and we have been told time and again about the inhumane acts which the Japanese soldiers inflicted on ordinary citizens, - throwing a baby up in the air and killing it with a bayonet, cutting open a pregnant woman just to see what a baby looked like, beheading, shooting and raping. Talk of International Convention on War! Today, the apparently sophisticated Japanese politicians are cloaked in very decent clothes, smiling and travelling around offering assistance. Then you see them in Yasukuni honouring those very soldiers who killed a lot of Asians. You see blood in them. The mind may well forgive, but it does not forget. It is of the Japanese' own doing. How do you un-do it? Let's leave it to the Japanese.
Asia Pulse
"Japan can choose to be ally or threat, says China's ex-foreign minister"
Well, right back at you buddy. China can choose to be viewed as a threat or an ally. Until now it has chosen to be more of a threat to many nations.
Daniel Lee
Japan shouldn't even exist at all. Too evil.
Only extreme heinous persons having a filthy brain filled with demons would have fetus eating in their mind. You always dreaming about that?
But then where would you and the likes of you get all your adult entertainment? Surely China or HK can't produce anything comparable?
My dear friend XYZ - open your mind, stop obsessing about China and you shall see the light.
The choice is obvious, who on earth with right mind want to be an ally with fetus eating nation like china? Even North Korea has some doubt about china.



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