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Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China

(Xinhua)

08:38, September 11, 2012

BEIJING, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Monday after the Japanese government decided at a ministerial meeting to "purchase" part of China's Diaoyu Islands. The following is a translated version of the statement:

Despite the repeated solemn representations of China, the Japanese government announced on Sept. 10 the so-called "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands and the affiliated Nanxiao Dao and Beixiao Dao to "nationalize" them. This act is a severe infringement of Chinese territorial sovereignty, which gravely hurts the feelings of the 1.3 billion Chinese people and seriously tramples on historical facts and international laws. The Chinese government and people have expressed firm opposition and strong protest toward the act.

The Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islets have been the sacred territory of China since ancient times, backed by historical and legal evidence. They were first discovered, named and used by the Chinese. Throughout the years, Chinese fishermen have conducted production activities on these islands and neighboring waters. They were within China's maritime defense sphere as early as the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and have been the affiliated islets of China's Taiwan. The Diaoyu Islands have never been the so-called "Terra Nullius." China is their indisputable owner.

In 1895, at the end of the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), Japan took advantage of the Qing Government's obvious failure and illegally seized the Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islands. Subsequently, Japan forced the Qing Government to sign the unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki and cede "the Taiwan Islands and their affiliated islands." After the end of WWII, in accordance with the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation, China recovered Taiwan, the Penghu Islands and other territories which Japan had occupied before, meaning the Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islands were returned to China in terms of international law. History cannot be reversed. Japan's position on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands is a blatant denial of the victorious result of the world's anti-fascist war and a serious challenge to the post-war international order.

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