- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 588 Hour
- Reading permission
China shrugs off 'unsigned' 1950 document undermining claim to Senkakus|
JAN 1, 2013 PRINT SHARE
The Chinese Embassy in Tokyo has dismissed the significance of a 1950 Chinese diplomatic document that refers to a disputed cluster of islands it claims by their Japanese name and that indicates they are part of Japan’s Ryukyu Islands.
In a statement dated Dec. 30, the embassy said “the fact that the Japanese side is planning to use an unsigned reference document to support its own erroneous stance reveals its lack of confidence.”
“It’s clear from the historical background of the Diaoyu Islands that Japan has never legally exercised sovereignty over them,” it said, using the Chinese name for the Japan-administered Senkaku Islands.
The 10-page document, dated May 1950, was reportedly found stored in the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s archives.
It was completed on May 15, 1950, less than eight months after the Communist Party founded the People’s Republic of China, and at a time when Beijing was considering whether to take part in international meetings to conclude peace treaties with Japan following the end of World War II.
Titled “Draft outline on issues and arguments on parts concerning territories in the peace treaty with Japan,” the document only refers to the islands by their Japanese name, indicating there was no practice in Beijing then of calling them Diaoyu.
Its description of the islands as being in the southernmost part of the Ryukyu Archipelago appears to contradict Beijing’s present assertion that they are affiliated with Taiwan, which it also claims is an inherent part of Chinese territory. Taiwan claims the Senkakus as the Tiaoyutai.
But the document does reportedly mention the need for discussion on whether the Senkaku Islands should be incorporated into Taiwan.
Japan, which effectively nationalized the islands in mid-September, says it was not until the early 1970s that China started claiming the sovereignty over them, after an academic survey indicated the possibility of the existence of petroleum resources in the surrounding area.
The Chinese Embassy’s statement pointed out that there are a number of postwar international legal documents relating to the territorial issue that support China’s claim, such as the 1943 Cairo Declaration issued by the Allies in WWII, as well as documents from Japan’s own diplomatic archives.
“All of these constitute a single, complete chain of doctrine,” it said, adding, “Japan cannot shake the basic fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China, not matter what tricks it pulls.”
China accuses Japan of “stealing” the islands from it in the 19th century.
It argues that after Japan’s WWII defeat, it was obliged to return them to China under the Cairo Declaration, the 1945 Potsdam Proclamation which defined the terms for Japan’s surrender, and other international legal documents.
Japan insists the islands were not included in the territory it renounced under the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, which legally defined Japan’s postwar territory.
It points out that China raised no objections when the islands were placed under U.S. administration, based on the 1951 treaty, as part of the Ryukyu Islands, whose administrative rights were reverted to Japan in 1972.