Region needs new security set-up

Updated: 2014-06-18 07:42

By Sun Jianguo (China Daily)

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As a responsible power in the Asia-Pacific region, China is committed to improving the lives of the people in the region, establishing good relations with neighbors and developing friendly ties with other countries, rather than establishing its hegemony.

Historically speaking, there were no or few territorial and sovereignty disputes between China and its neighbors. Only in modern times, when a weak and poor China suffered greatly from the invasion of big powers and was unable to safeguard its own rights and interests, did sovereignty disputes arise. The so-called McMahon Line, left by a colonial power, is the seed for the dispute between China and a neighbor.

Although China emerged victorious in World War II, it failed to get the rights it deserved. The Cairo Declaration clearly states that the Diaoyu Islands and other territories occupied by Japan since the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 should be returned to China. But the United States illegally transferred the right of administration of the Diaoyu Islands to Japan. The backroom deal between the US and Japan is illegitimate and invalid, and cannot change the fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China.

In the 1940s, the Chinese Nationalist government of the Kuomintang Party took back the islands in the South China Sea from Japan, and approved and published the names of all the islands and reefs in the South China Sea, and thus declared China's sovereignty over the islands. At that time, there were no major disputes.

It was only in the 1970s, when oil and gas reserves were discovered in the South China Sea, that certain countries, driven by economic interests, started illegally occupying some of the islands and reefs of China's Nansha Islands. This led to the disputes that we see today.

China has always said that all countries should respect historical facts, stick to international laws, view history in a dialectical and objective manner to know the exact origins and nature of the disputes, because this is the basic precondition and right direction to seek a fair and just resolution.

China remains committed to consultation and negotiation to address the disagreements and disputes. It also remains committed to adopting peaceful measures to handle the disputes over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests with relevant countries. Relevant parties should hold talks to seek the biggest denominator that best reflects each other's interests and gradually narrow down the differences to finally resolve the disputes. Following this method, China has resolved land border disputes with 12 of its 14 neighbors.

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