Sovereignty over Diaoyu Islands beyond doubt

16:53, October 12, 2010      

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao speaks during a meeting with representatives of Chinese nationals and Chinese Americans in the United States on Sept 21, 2010. He said the Diaoyu Islands are part of China's sacred territory. (Xinhua Photo)

Historical facts and international law have made it an undeniable truth that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China, and the islands have no historical terra nullius status.

Chinese fishermen have been gathering herbs and fishing in the islands and the nearby waters for generations.

Ever since the early period of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Diaoyu Islands have been clearly included in the territory and maritime defense sector of China and China's sovereignty over the islands was recognized by Japan, which used Chinese names to identify the area, until modern times.

Before the middle of the 19th century, various maps published in Japan used the same color to mark China and the Diaoyu Islands.

At the same time, related documents and maps of Britain, France, United States and Spain also showed the Diaoyu Islands belonging to China.

One noticeable example is a map made by the British Navy in 1877 - China East Coast: Hong Kong to Gulf of Liau-Tung, which marked the Diaoyu Islands as subsidiary islands of Taiwan Island, and separated them from the islands of Japan. Thereafter this map was used as reference for the signing of Treaty of Shimonoseki.

In January 1895, three months before the Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed between Japan and China, after the latter was defeated in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895, Japan illegally took over the Diaoyu Islands and included them in its Okinawa Prefecture. It cannot be denied that the Diaoyu Islands were ceded to Japan as subsidiary islands of Taiwan in 1895 after the Treaty was signed.

However, in December 1943, leaders of the United States, Britain and China signed the Cairo Declaration, declaring that all the territories that Japan had seized from China should be returned. The Potsdam Proclamation signed by China, the United States and Britain in July 1945 (later adhered to by the Soviet Union) stipulated that: "The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out".

In August 1945, Japan accepted the Potsdam Proclamation and surrendered unconditionally, which means both documents came into effect.

After World War II ended, China took back its territories stolen by Japan, including Taiwan Island and its subsidiary islands. Therefore as part of the Taiwan Islands, the Diaoyu Islands were returned to China under international law.

Source: chinadaily.com.cn
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(Editor:梁军)

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