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Wen vows no concession (2)

By Li Xiaokun and Zhang Yunbi  (Xinhua)

08:21, September 11, 2012

Diaoyu: Strong protests lodged

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that records show the islands were first found, named and used by the Chinese, and have been included in China's maritime defense sphere since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Japan seized the islands through illegal means at the end of the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95). But two key declarations during World War II, Cairo and Potsdam, legally returned the islands to China, the statement said.

Japan's stance on the islands is a blatant denial of the victory of a global anti-fascist war and a serious challenge to the post-war international order, the statement said.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi also summoned, and made representations to, Japanese Ambassador to China Uichiro Niwa on Monday.

The unilateral measures that Japan has taken are "illegal and ineffective", he said.

"China strongly urges Japan to immediately revoke the wrong decision to 'buy' the islands ... Otherwise, consequences arising from it can only be shouldered by Japan."

China's Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua also made representations and submitted a note of protest to Japan's Foreign Ministry.

In Beijing, Premier Wen Jiabao said during a speech on Monday at the China Foreign Affairs University that the Diaoyu Islands are an inalienable part of China's territory and China will "absolutely make no concession" on issues concerning its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"The Chinese government and its people cherish their country's hard-won national sovereignty and dignity more than anybody," Wen told the students.

This is the first time the Chinese government has placed extra emphasis on sovereignty over its territorial waters around the islands, and sovereignty rights in the waters, said Zhang Haiwen, deputy director of the China Institute for Marine Affairs.

"The baselines and base points define the territorial land and waters of the islands, and will further help nail down relevant exclusive economic zones," Zhang said.

Beijing may immediately submit the definitions to the United Nations secretary-general, she added.

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