left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Chinese public opinion should be heard

Updated: 2012-08-16 21:40
( chinadaily.com.cn)

Translated by Chen Longxiang

The successful Aug 15 landing of Chinese activists on the Diaoyu Islands is a “countermeasure” to the Japanese side’s increasingly rampant provocations in territorial disputes. In the face of the Chinese people’s strong will, the Japanese government undoubtedly must show restraint and stop its provocative actions, says an editorial in the Beijing News. Excerpts:

A group of activists from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region broke through obstructions of the Japanese and successfully landed on the Diaoyu Islands on Aug 15, Victory over Japan Day, to assert China’s claim to the Diaoyu Islands.  

This is the first successful landing by Chinese over the past decade. Okinawa police detained 14 Chinese activists on suspicion of “illegal entry”. Beijing immediately urged Tokyo on Wednesday to ensure the safety of the 14 Chinese nationals and to unconditionally release them.

The time of the landing is noteworthy, as Aug 15 is the anniversary of the day Japan said it would surrender in World War II. The landing also occurred in the context of an increasing number of Japanese provocative acts in dealing with territorial disputes with neighboring countries.

The landing campaign is a countermeasure initiated by Chinese nongovernmental forces. Since the beginning of this year, in order to create a good atmosphere for the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations, the Chinese government has demonstrated its sincerity in many ways. But Japan has failed to pay full attention to China’s good deeds. On the contrary, some Japanese politicians, including Shintaro Ishihara, recklessly challenged China’s core interests by resorting to increasingly provocative words and deeds over territorial disputes. Ishihara and some Cabinet members visited the Yasukuni Shrine on Aug 15, which stirred strong indignation in everyone of Chinese descent. The Aug 15 landing fully demonstrated the wishes of ordinary Chinese.

The Japanese government should pay particular attention to the strong will of the Chinese people. With a long tradition of peace, China has always stood for proper settlement of territorial disputes through peaceful negotiation, but that does not mean it will sit back and endure silently the provocations forever.

China’s independent and peaceful foreign policy is built on the basis of national will and public support. If the Japanese side turns a deaf ear to the expression of Chinese people’s will and doesn’t stop at the brink of the precipice, it is bound to pay the price.

Both positive and negative lessons have fully shown that if the Japanese side can face squarely the will of the Chinese people and properly respond, Sino-Japanese relations will improve. But if the Japanese side neglects or even ignores the will of the Chinese people, bilateral relations will be set back. In this regard, the Japanese authorities and public should have a clear understanding.

Based on this, the Japanese side should exercise restraint and stop its provocative actions, including to name, buy or nationalize the Diaoyu Islands, so as to create a good atmosphere for peace negotiations and lay a solid basis in public opinion for Sino-Japanese friendship.