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China says won't back down on territorial disputes

March 02, 2013 19:52 IST

China on Saturday kicked off its annual legislative sessions with a stern warning to Japan and neighbouring countries that it will not "back down" on issues relating to sovereignty and Tokyo should bear responsibility for any military friction over the disputed islands.

"China wants to be friendly with Japan and all other countries. But we do have our principles and base lines and will not back down in anyway on issues regarding the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Lyu Xinhua, spokesman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, told a press meet telecast live all over China.

The CPPCC, an advisory legislative body with about 2,237 appointed members meets two days ahead of the main legislature, the National People's Congress, which would be meeting for the first time after the new Communist Party leadership, headed by Xi Jinping was elected last November.

The new-look CPPCC with recently-appointed members like Hong Kong-based film star Jackie Chan and last year's winner of Nobel Prize for literature, Mo Yan would begin its week-long meetings in Beijing on Sunday.

Xi would be formally elected as President by NPC next week besides the new cabinet and other top government officials marking the end of the country's once-in-a-decade leadership change.

The old regime headed by Hu Jintao would formally step down during the session.

Asked whether there is any possibility for a war between China and Japan, Lyu said Japan must be held responsible for the consequences should any friction take place due to its disturbance of China's patrolling of the disputed islands called Diaoyu by China and Senkakus by Japan.

"Japan must take all consequences should any friction (with China) take place because Japan insists on its wrong deeds on the Diaoyu Islands issue, even using vessels and planes of Japan's Self-Defence Forces to disturb normal law enforcement by China's vessels and planes," he said.

"China is a peace-loving country and will not cause any troubles, nor will it be afraid of any trouble-makers. We will never recede on issues related with China's territorial sovereignty," he said.

Besides Japan, China is currently grappling with tensions with several South East Asian countries over disputes in the South China Sea

It has a longstanding boundary dispute with India too, for which both countries have been holding annual dialogue to resolve it.

Lyu said Japanese leaders must stop making irresponsible remarks and make substantial efforts in improving bilateral relations.

"Under current circumstances, what is important is that Japan must stop any activities that harm China's sovereignty over territory," Lyu said reiterating China's stand that the islands are its inherent territory.

"No grass, no trees, no rocks or soil on the DiaoyuIslands should be traded. The 'purchasing of the islands,' in whichever way, will severely infringe on Chinese territorial sovereignty," Lyu said raising his voice.

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