China rejects Japan's demand to shut down Diaoyutai website

7:38:00 AM
BEIJING, -- China rejected on Thursday Japan's demand to shut down a website that claims the disputed Diaoyutai Islands as Chinese territory, reiterating that Tokyo should face up to history.

"The Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands are China's inherent territory based on full historical and legal evidence," claimed Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying during a press briefing in Beijing Thursday.

"… facts are facts, and the objective facts will not change whether the Japanese side is or is not willing to accept them," Hua said.

Japan lodged a protest over the launch of the English and Japanese edition of the website asserting China's claim over the islands in the East China Sea.

The islands, known in Japanese as the Senkakus, are administered by Japan and also claimed by Taiwan.

Japan's chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Wednesday that his country previously protested when China first launched the website in Chinese in December.

Suga said the Chinese government website distorts facts and reiterates China's own claim, which Tokyo can never accept.

During a March 4 press briefing, US Department of State deputy spokesperson Marie Harf responded to questions about the Chinese government website by saying the US policy "on the Senkakus is longstanding and has not changed."

In an interview with Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun in August 2014, US president Barack Obama said the islands fall under the scope of the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security and that Washington opposed unilateral attempts to undermine Japan's administration of the islands.

China's newly launched Japanese and English editions of the website on the disputed islands rehashed the argument presented in the Chinese version, emphasizing that the islands are inherently Chinese, and that China was the first country to discover, name and exercise valid jurisdiction over the islands.

Although late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping said during his trip to Japan in 1978 that the two countries agreed to set aside the territorial dispute, tensions escalated after Tokyo decided to nationalize the islands in 2012.

Apart from the website on the disputed islands, China also plans a grand military parade in Beijing this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the allied victory over Japan in World War II to step up its global propaganda against Japan.

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