BEIJING, April 18 -- China has refuted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's criticism claiming that Beijing has tried to "change the status quo" in maritime disputes.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily press briefing on Friday that Abe was trying to "divert attention and confuse the public", and that China has repeatedly expressed its position on the East China Sea and South China Sea.
"The historic facts and the rights and wrongs in the disputes on the East China Sea and South China Sea are crystal clear," said Hua. "It is not China who is changing the status quo."
"China's will and determination of safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity is unswerving," she said.
According to reports, Abe said on Thursday at a forum in Tokyo that China "is challenging the status quo with force in the East China Sea and South China Sea," referring to Beijing's territorial rows with Japan and other Southeast Asian countries.
He added that "it is necessary for not only Japan but many other countries to prompt China to grow peacefully as a responsible country."
Hua said China has taken regional peace and security into consideration and kept restraint, and remained committed to solve disputes via dialogue and consultation.
"As we all can see, the attempt of the Japanese leader's mistaken remarks is very clear: on one hand, to divert attention and confuse the public to cover up its act of denying history; on the other hand, to woo a third party in the hope of containing China," she said.
"The attempt is futile. It will not succeed, and will never frighten China," said Hua.
The Japanese leader has always refused to face up to and reflect upon the history of Japanese military aggression toward China and the crimes the Japanese militarists committed, and refused to deal with issues of history properly, she said.
"How can such a leader be in a position to tell China what is responsible?" the spokeswoman asked.
On a question that Japan is to arm its westernmost outpost, a tropical island some 160 km away from the Diaoyu Islands, Hua urged Japan to explain to the international community its real intention of enhancing military forces.
Japan should draw lessons from the history, follow a path of peaceful development, respect security concerns of neighboring countries and contribute to enhancing the mutual trust between countries and regional peace and stability.
According to reports of Reuters, Japan is sending 100 soldiers and radar for a military lookout station on the island of Yonaguni, which is home to 1,500 people. Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera will break ground for the station on Saturday.