left corner left corner
China Daily Website  

Ulterior motives behind Japan's China-smearing over S China Sea

Updated: 2015-07-04 16:56

BEIJING -- It is more than obvious that there are some ulterior and selfish motives behind the Japanese government's elaborate attempts to smear China and create tensions over the South China Sea issue, as Japan is not a relevant party at all.

A forthcoming Japanese defense white paper describes China's land reclamation projects in the South China Sea as "high-handed" and points the finger at China's defense expenditures, saying that the spending is now 41 times higher than in fiscal 1989.

Such accusations are typical examples of political machinations aimed at fanning the "China threat" theory and fishing for selfish gains. They are ill-founded, and they are harmful to regional stability.

Firstly, China is devoted to the path of peaceful development and a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. Its national defense building is commensurate with its economic growth and national security needs.

In retrospect, Japan's annual military expenditures grew at a double-digit rate -- topping 20 percent at its highest -- along with the rapid growth of its economy from 1961 to 1979.

Moreover, the growth of China's national defense capability poses no threat to other countries. As Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said, "They can set their mind at rest if they have no intention to offend."

Secondly, China's lawful, justified and reasonable construction on some garrisoned Nansha islands and reefs is well within China's sovereignty.

At the conclusion of World War II, China took back the Nansha islands from Japan's occupation in accordance with the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation, on which the post-war international order was founded.

Up until the 1960s, the international community had no doubts over China's sovereignty over the Nansha islands. Since the 1970s, various countries have been trying to occupy the islands in the South China Sea, perhaps encouraged by reports of oil reserves in the area.

Japan, deliberately ignoring history and reality, has been too active on this issue by creating and hyping tensions. Japan's true intention is obvious: to find an excuse for its unprecedented domestic policy adjustment on security and defense.

Japan has seen an uptick in defense spending as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration pushes to change the country's security policy to allow its Self-Defense Forces to expand their overseas operations in the name of collective self-defense.

However, it would be wise for Abe's government to stop stoking up tensions and draw hard lessons from history by reflecting on its war crimes and apologizing to all victimized countries and peoples.

Only that will help Japan regain the trust and respect of the international community.

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.