Published September 12, 2012 | 2:09 am
Beijing: A lesson is necessary to dispel Japan’s contempt toward China, said a state-run Chinese daily Wednesday, a day after the Japanese government inked a deal to buy the disputed Diaoyu Islands.
A strongly worded editorial – “Discard illusion of friendly ties with Japan” – in Global Times said that Sino-Japanese relations suffered a serious blow Tuesday when the Japanese government signed a deal to purchase the Diaoyu Islands with the self-proclaimed “owner”.
“The friendly ties between the two countries established in the 1970s collapsed completely,” it said.
The daily added: “Chinese anger of over a century toward Japan was awakened Tuesday, and will in turn affect Japanese feelings toward China. It appears inevitable the two sides will be overwhelmed by hatred again now that more conflicts can be expected. China needs to be prepared for further deterioration of bilateral ties. For Beijing, the future priority isn’t to maintain stable ties, but to protect its core interests as Sino-Japanese relations sour.”
The editorial said that though China was committed to building friendly ties with neighbours, the Diaoyu issue has turned China and Japan into opponents.
“China isn’t used to having an adversary close by.
“…Japan inflicted painful atrocities against China in the past. It is now more developed than China, but is in decline. The balance of national power is shifting between the two. With such a close opponent, China can be spurred to action,” it said.
The daily noted that Japan depends on the Chinese market more than China does on the Japanese market.
“A political confrontation will bring insignificant economic damage to China,” it said. “…with China’s nuclear deterrence, Japan is less likely to launch a military attack on China.”
It said that China has been advocating friendly ties with its neighbour, but “Japan has created enough troubles for China over the years”.
“But its behaviour toward the US and Russia demonstrates its inferiority toward strong countries. China cannot repeat what the US and Russia did to Japan. But a lesson is necessary to dispel its contempt toward China…”
Increasing its shrill pitch, the editorial went on to say that China is accumulating strength with its fast development.
“It can fully show this strength to Japan in a future conflict to reverse Japan’s attitude toward China,” it warned.
“Keeping friendly neighbouring ties is a good policy. But it cannot be achieved through one-sided begging and compromising.”
The disputed islands in the East China Sea, which are also claimed by Taiwan, lie on a vital shipping route and are surrounded by large hydrocarbon deposits beneath them.
Japan says it has controlled the islands since 1895 until its surrender at the end of World War II. The islands were controlled by the US from 1945 to 1972 and subsequently returned to Japan’s control. China claims the islands’ discovery and control since the 14th century.
China and Taiwan started to lay claims on the islands in the 1970s when surveys showed the area was rich in hydrocarbons.
Tensions flared between Tokyo and Beijing, after Japan last month arrested 14 Chinese nationals, including activists from Hong Kong, and deported them over a protest landing on Uotsuri, the largest of a group of disputed isles. ians