Japan reopens China’s wounds: Sea of Change in pacific policy; Japan’s wars and Potsdam Declaration still relevant


China-JapanJapan reopens China’s wounds

Few wounds take so long to heal. But the defeat in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95, which broke out 120 years ago today, remains an open wound in Chinese national psyche.

Not because it hurt us too badly. The subsequent unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki, fittingly portrayed as “humiliating the country and forfeiting its sovereignty”, has since been a hallmark of national shame. But the Japanese imposed on us greater shame and sufferings in the decades that followed.

Nor because we are a nation of grudge-holders. We have befriended posterity of Western intruders responsible for our nation’s humiliating past, and are forming partnerships with them. Even to Japan, our worst enemy in history, our leaders always reiterate the wish to let friendship “last from generation to generation”.

But because the same old ghost of expansionist Japan is lurking next door, causing a contagious sense of insecurity throughout the region.

We cannot afford to not be vigilant, because Shinzo Abe’s Japan is strikingly similar to the Japan of 120 years ago. International concerns about the likelihood of history repeating itself in Northeast Asia are not groundless. Because, like in 1894, Japan is again aspiring for “greatness” through expanding its overseas military presence. And its foremost target is, again, China.

It is dangerous to underestimate Japan as a security threat. Which it was, and still is.

The Japanese prime minister’s rhetoric about peace may be engaging. But never forget Japan’s extreme duality. Its wars of aggression have always been launched in the mode of surprise attacks while waving the banner of peace.

In 1871, Japan signed the Sino-Japanese Friendship and Trade Treaty with rulers of China’s Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), which promises mutual respect for and non-violation of each other’s territories. Hardly had the ink on that document dried when the Japanese began invading Ryukyu, then a Chinese tributary. The Ryukyu kingdom was finally annexed in 1879 and renamed Okinawa.

On Japan’s agenda of overseas expansion, the 1894 surprise attack against China was a carefully plotted advance to control Korea before slicing China. But the Japanese government eulogized its acts of aggression as those of benevolence aimed at “preserving the overall peace of East Asia” against “barbarians and semi-barbarians”.

The more devastating Japanese war of aggression, embarked in 1931, was also waged in the name of peace, under the pretext of building an “East Asia sphere of common prosperity”.

Even today, Japanese politicians call it a war of “liberation from white colonialism”, even “enlightenment”.

In amazing similarity, present-day Japan is flexing its military muscles overseas in the name of proactive peace. Also like in the run-up to the year of 1894, with peace on lips, Abe is waging a propaganda war against China, framing us as a threat.

This country has suffered enough from its one-sided wish for peace, and poor preparedness for worst scenarios.

Now is time for a break.

Sources: China Daily/Asia News Network

Sea of change in pacifist policy

Japan may have crossed a rubicon as it will only be a matter of time before it acts like a ‘normal’ country where troop deployment is concerned.

Abe_eye militaryON July 1, the Cabinet of Shinzo Abe decided that Japan would no longer abide by the policy of not engaging in collective self-defence.

This may appear innocuous but to those conversant with Japanese defence policy since World War II (WWII) this could amount to a sea of change.

The Americans, in an attempt to prevent a remilitarised Japan after WWII, imposed on it a constitution which contains Article 9, an article probably found in no other constitution. It states that Japan renounces war as a sovereign right of a nation and cannot resort to force, or the threat of the use of force, to settle international disputes.

The defence of Japan was guaranteed by the United States in a security agreement signed with Japan after the American occupation. Nevertheless, the United States also insisted that Japan take some steps to defend itself.

Thus, Article 9 was not interpreted literally by subsequent governments as excluding Japan from establishing a Self-Defence Force (SDF), but it could not be allowed to participate in collective self-defence. Japan could not send its military force to help any country, however friendly, except for humanitarian purposes.

This approach, perhaps unexpectedly, worked brilliantly for Japan.

Freed of the need to build a large military establishment, Japan devoted its energies to economic development and built what was until recently the second largest economy in the world.

But as the United States began to realise that Japan was the greatest beneficiary of this approach, it applied pressure on Japan to give up this “free ride”, and start deploying troops overseas, especially to aid American military expeditions. The Japanese resisted.

They argued that the SDF could be sent overseas for humanitarian purposes but not for combat as this would involve Japan in collective self-defence, even if only to aid Japan’s crucial ally, the United States. Article 9, as then interpreted, would be violated.

But the Japanese could not resist US pressure for long. Since then the Japanese have sent Japanese vessels to supply fuel for US ships to attack Afghanistan, and troops to Iraq in the war against Saddam Hussein.

But though these troops were placed in combat situations, their presence was justified, however contrived, for humanitarian reasons. They were not there for the purpose of collective self-defence!

This has now changed with the recent Cabinet decision. Despite assurances from the Abe Cabinet that Japan will only use troops after all means have been exhausted, henceforth it can send troops not only to help US forces if attacked but also to the defence of any other country that it might feel an obligation to. Japan may have crossed a rubicon as it will only be a matter of time before it acts like a “normal” country where troop deployment is concerned.

China and South Korea are against it. They fear that this could lead to the remilitarisation of Japan as they believe Japan has not sufficiently come to terms with its past of aggression against Asia.

Many South-East Asian nations, on the other hand, have been impressed by Japan’s peace diplomacy since WWII, and may be less inclined to believe the Japanese will remilitarise. Even though many South-East Asians, particularly those of Chinese descent, suffered from Japanese atrocities, they are more ambivalent about the Japanese war record.

The Japanese occupation in South-East Asia was a military one and lasted only about three-and-a-half years. Compare this to Korea, which was colonised by Japan from 1910 to 1945, when Korean cultural identity was subjected to an eradication campaign by the Japanese colonisers.

Or the Chinese, who since the Sino- Japanese war of 1895 had suffered almost half a century of Japanese threats, colonisation (Manchuria in 1931) and invasion (from 1937-1945.) Memories of Japanese atrocities such as the Nanjing Massacre are still vivid in their minds.

South-East Asians are concerned that the history issue, whatever the merits of the case, will continue to prevent reconciliation between Japan and Northeast Asia, in particular China.

Sino-Japanese relations will not stabilise unless that issue is resolved. This will not be good for South-East Asia, given the profound economic and geopolitical impact these two countries have on the region.

There is also some reason for unease in the manner in which Abe implemented the change. Over a matter of such importance, the Abe government should have gone through the procedure of amending or abolishing Article 9 of the constitution, instead of resorting to the tactic of changing governmental interpretation.

It is true that this will be difficult, given that a recent poll shows 56% of the Japanese population are against the Abe move. (A constitutional change needs a two-thirds majority in both houses and a majority in a national referendum.) Nevertheless, it is the task of Abe and his people to convince the Japanese people of the necessity of the constitutional change. If the Japanese people are unconvinced, then Abe should leave things be.

More concerning is that this normalisation is accompanied by a nationalist agenda of visits to the Yasukuni shrine by Japanese legislators and indeed by Abe himself, and by other actions that suggest Japan did no wrong in the war.

Japanese nationalists like Abe argue that they are only praying for the souls of the deceased when they visit the Yasukuni shrine, and they have no wish to resurrect the past.

But there are other aspects of the nationalist agenda the Abe people are pushing which may survive. One is the introduction of patriotic education, that can have a long-lasting effect on the Japanese population.

It can be argued that the Abe move to make Japan a normal country should be welcome. Japan is a large country with a population of around 120 million.

Moreover, it has the third largest economy, and is technologically one of the most advanced in the world. It has also convincingly demonstrated a record of more than 60 years of peaceful diplomacy.

At the same time, many Japanese, particularly the younger generation, no longer want to carry on with the mentality of a defeated nation so long after the war. Nevertheless, it is a pity that their government has to pursue the normalisation of Japan while at the same time pushing a nationalist agenda.

 

By Dr Lee Poh Ping The Star/Asia News Network

Dr Lee Poh PingDr Lee Poh Ping is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of China Studies in the University of Malaya. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.

http://english.cntv.cn/program/dialogue/20130726/100500.shtml

First Japan war’s lessons remain relevant

Today is the 120th anniversary of the eruption of the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-95). The war is generally viewed as a turning point in modern Chinese history. The illusion of a strong navy of the then-Qing government and limited hopes brought by the Self-Strengthening Movement ended with the war’s coming. China not only lost to the West, but also was defeated by an East Asian country—Japan. China’s long-held sense of superiority came to an abrupt end.

The complete defeat in the war, and cession of territories and indemnities brought with it, caused Chinese society to realize that only reform could reverse China’s backwardness. Yet all reform measures failed to save the Qing regime.

The war also completely remade East Asian geopolitics, with Japan assuming a role as the leading country in the region. Only in recent years has this arrangement changed to some extent.

Drawing lessons from the war is not an easy job. Neither China nor Japan has set an example in this. China was convulsed by half a century of war and other disturbances following its defeat, before it gradually found its path forward. Japan became increasingly self-centered and paranoid due to its victory in the war and began to follow an expansionist path. It would only begin to restrain itself following its defeat by other world powers in the World War II.

China’s experiences during the past 120 years are fodder for significant reflection. China and Japan once again find themselves in a confrontational stance. How should we look at China’s geopolitical status, both then and now? What’s the most significant lesson for us? There has been much discussion throughout China on this subject, but no consensus has yet been reached.

Will China find itself in a new war, similar to the one 120 years ago? History will not repeat itself, but China still face a number of uncertainties. What are these uncertainties? From where can the Chinese people derive our strategic confidence?

It is naïve to compare the historical context of the First Sino-Japanese War or World War I with China’s current circumstances. Both international politics and China’s internal social structure have experienced profound changes.

China is rising, even as there are many factors countervailing this process, both internal and external. The momentum of China’s development has empowered the country, while at the same time exposing problems. Opinions remain divided as to whether Chinese society as a whole can bear the pressure.

There are those who would compare the Sino-Japanese relationship of 120 years ago with today. It is a confusing comparison. China 120 years ago lacked national strength, social unity, and effective government. It proved unable to reform itself in the face of serious setbacks.

China’s task of reform was thrown into sharp relief following the First Sino-Japanese War. Even now, the country must continue to push reforms, and curb its social ills.

We should continue to crack down on corruption, and protect the democracy advocated by generations of revolutionaries. All this, however, should not come at the cost of social chaos.

Source: Global Times Published: 2014-7-25 0:28:01

 

DeclarationDeclaration still relevant

Looking at the Potsdam Declaration 69 years after its release on July 26 in 1945 is of great help in knowing why the Japanese government’s attitude toward the war of aggression it launched against China and other Asian countries during World War II matters a great deal to its relations with its neighbors and the situation in East Asia.

Along with Cairo Declaration in 1943, this historical document was the cornerstone of the postwar world order. It was these two documents that established the principles for Japan, one of the culprits for World War II, to redeem itself from the evils of its militarism. And it was by following what both documents stipulated that Japan could realize reconciliation with its neighbors, which had forgiven what its invading troops had done to their peoples with the hope that the island country would behave itself and contribute to the building of a peaceful Asia and peaceful world at large.

However, the declaration was challenged when the Japanese government made the decision to nationalize the Diaoyu Islands in 2012, territory it had grabbed from China with its military aggression. Japan was supposed to return all the territories it had taken from China according to Cairo Declaration, and the Potsdam Declaration requires that the Cairo Declaration must be observed.

By blatantly questioning the international definition of the nature of the war, the legitimacy of the Far East Military Tribunal and even the existence of the “comfort women” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is actually trying to overturn what the two declarations had stipulated for Japan’s surrender and the establishment of the postwar order.

Abe government’s lifting of the ban on its collective self-defense by reinterpreting Article 9 of its postwar pacifist Constitution early this month trod on the toes of its neighbors, as there is no threat to Japan’s national security that calls for the possible use of its collective self-defense and for any overseas military action.

All Japan’s Asian neighbors can get from what Abe is saying and doing is nothing but increased suspicion about the possibility of the revival of Japan’s militarism.

When celebrating the 69th anniversary of the Potsdam Declaration, it is indeed necessary and urgent for China and its Asian neighbors to remind the Abe government that it is leading its country in the wrong direction if it indeed wants its country to become a normal member of the international community.

Sources: China Daily/Asia News Network

China – US candid dialogue aims at easing anxiety


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The sixth round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue and the fifth China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange are being held in Beijing these two days. At a time when this bilateral relationship remains subtle and both have speculated about each other’s strategic outlook, such high-level dialogue offers a chance for them to listen to their counterparts to ease anxieties brought by problems between them.

The strategists and public opinion in both countries have made thorough analyses of bilateral ties, yet they still fail to offer grounded conclusions. The fundamental reason is that in the history of international politics, such a big power relationship has never existed before.

The Chinese leadership envisioned the notion of a new type of great power relations, which the US leadership has accepted. The positive attitude of both has injected hope to the 21st century.

There will be more friction between the two. There will be twists and turns as China rises and the US tries to maintain its hegemony. Both can easily highlight a concrete problem, while high-level dialogue is needed to ease the speculation in both societies.

China’s rise seems to be the most uncertain factor for the Sino-US relationship and the political pattern of the Asia-Pacific region in the 21st century. A comprehensive understanding of China’s rise will help lay the foundation of this bilateral relationship.

The driving forces of China’s rise come from the demand of the Chinese people. No one can stop this process. China and the US should build up an open system that can accommodate China’s rise and soften the impact of China’s rise on the politics of Asia-Pacific and other regions.

Many view the territorial disputes between China and its neighboring countries as its ambition for expansion. The US should be able to see that China has no intention to create new geopolitical patterns through these disputes, nor would it make use of the conflicts to expand its strategic space.

Even when China has no intention, its impact has been felt. Meanwhile, US support for Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam has caused some effect on China’s neighbors. These two factors should not interact with each other to intensify mutual strategic mistrust.

The significance of the heart-to-heart dialogue is the same as that of establishing a crisis-management mechanism. It may take a while before the two realize great power relations, but China-US relations are fundamentally different from ties between the US and the former Soviet Union.

There will be continuing pessimistic comments from the public in both countries. It is vital that both governments remain determined. It will be a significant political achievement if the two develop a relationship that is different from the one under the Yalta system during the last century.

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-7-9

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[2014-07-10 07:26] Washington’s support for the true troublemakers, on the other hand, has convinced many that it is plotting to contain a rising China.

 

Dialogue to disperse suspicions

[2014-07-09 07:29] The new type of major-country relationship, once a favored catchphrase of well-wishers, is no longer what it was immediately after the meeting between the Chinese and US presidents last summer.

 

Attitude to the war matters

[2014-07-08 07:27] History is the best textbook. That is what President Xi Jinping said at the ceremony to mark the 77th anniversary of the Chinese People’s War Against Japanese Aggression on Monday.

Japanese World War II criminals’ confessions released


Japanese war criminals

  1. After the end of World War Two, when Japanese war criminals were apprehended and interrogated, they wrote confessions.

    More documents decoded to reveal Japan´s war crimes

    An archive bureau in northeast China is drawing together experts to decode a vast number of document…

    BEIJING, July 3 — Confessions made by 45 Japanese war criminals tried and convicted by military tribunals in China after World War II (WWII) were published online on Thursday.

    Handwritten confessions, along with Chinese translations and abstracts in both Chinese and English, have been published on the website of the State Archives Administration, said the administration’s deputy director Li Minghua at a press conference on Thursday.

    “These archives are hard evidence of the heinous crimes committed by Japanese imperialism against the Chinese,” Li said.

    “Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, disregarding historical justice and human conscience, has been openly talking black into white, misleading the public, and beautifying Japanese aggression and its colonial history since he took office,” Li told reporters.

    “This challenges WWII achievements and the post-WWII international order.

    “The administration has made them available online before the 77th anniversary of the July 7 incident to remember history, take history as a mirror, cherish peace… and prevent the replay of such a historical tragedy,” Li added.

    The July 7 incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.

China began publishing “confessions” of 45 convicted Japanese World War II criminals on Thursday, officials said, in Beijing’s latest effort to highlight the past amid a territorial dispute between the two.

BEIJING: China began publishing “confessions” of 45 convicted Japanese World War II criminals on Thursday, officials said, in Beijing’s latest effort to highlight the past amid a territorial dispute between the two.

The documents, handwritten by Japanese tried and convicted by military courts in China after the war, are being released one a day for 45 days by the State Archives Administration (SAA), it said in a statement on its website.

In the first, dated 1954 and 38 pages long, Keiku Suzuki, described as a lieutenant general and commander of Japan’s 117th Division, admitted ordering a Colonel Taisuke to “burn down the houses of about 800 households and slaughter 1,000 Chinese peasants in a mop-up operation” in the Tangshan area, according to the official translation.

Among a litany of other crimes with a total toll in the thousands, he also confessed that he “cruelly killed 235 Chinese peasants seeking refuge in a village near Lujiayu”.

He also “ordered the Epidemic Prevention and Water Supply Squad to spread cholera virus in three or four villages”.

The document, which is littered with descriptions of “Japanese imperialists”, appeared to have been written by someone with native-level command of Japanese, said one Japanese journalist who saw it.

However, some of the sentences were very long and contained multiple clauses, possibly indicating it had gone through several drafts.

It was not clear whether Suzuki’s or the other yet-to-be-published confessions — all of them relating to 45 war criminals put on trial in China in 1956 — were previously publicly available.

Suzuki was held by Soviet forces at the end of the conflict and transferred to Chinese custody in 1950, earlier Chinese documents said, adding that he was sentenced to 20 years in prison by the court and released in 1963.

The publication of the confessions comes as Tokyo and Beijing are at odds over a territorial dispute in the East China Sea, and as Beijing has argued that a reinterpretation of Japan’s pacifist constitution could open the door to remilitarisation of a country it considers insufficiently penitent for its actions in World War II.

China regularly accuses Japan of failing to face up to its history of aggression in Asia, criticism that has intensified since the democratic re-election in December 2012 of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has advocated a more muscular defence and foreign policy stance.

China was outraged in December last year when Abe visited Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, where the souls of Japan’s war dead, including several high-level officials executed for war crimes after World War II, are enshrined.

“These archives are hard evidence of the heinous crimes committed by Japanese imperialism against the Chinese,” the SAA’s deputy director Li Minghua was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

“Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, disregarding historical justice and human conscience, has been openly talking black into white, misleading the public, and beautifying Japanese aggression and its colonial history since he took office,” Li said.

The SAA said the documents were being released to mark the 77th anniversary Monday of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a clash between Chinese and Japanese troops near Beijing, commemorated as the start of what is known in China as the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which ended with Tokyo’s World War II defeat in 1945.

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The Japanese cabinet’s approval Tuesday of the right to collective self-defense is a major shift of Japan’s defense policy. J..

Japan defense shift sets free Tokyo’s militarism !


The Japanese cabinet’s approval Tuesday of the right to collective self-defense is a major shift of Japan’s defense policy.

Japan militarism

Japan’s Peace Constitution states the self-defense forces can only adopt an exclusively defense-oriented policy. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had intended to overturn the constitution, but due to strong domestic opposition, he reinterpreted the constitution to allow Japan to defend its allies.

Generations of Japanese right-wing politicians have staged a relay race to amend the pacifist constitution. They proclaimed the right to send soldiers overseas, and now it is the right to exercise force. Abe has almost fulfilled this task, and the Peace Constitution will become nothing but a figurehead.

Abe and his followers are eager to free Japan from the restraints imposed by its defeat in World War II. The US aims to contain China by making use of Japan, which provides room for Abe’s strategic ambition. Japan’s aggression, previously restrained, has gradually awakened. The US has been quite aware of this, but it believes such a Japan suits its interests.

In the near future, Japan will be cautious in exercising the right of collective self-defense, but it’s hard to say in a few years’ time. Both Tokyo and Washington wish to see more disturbances in Asia, as the US hopes it will hinder China’s rise and Japan wants to seek opportunities to realize its rise both politically and militarily.

China needs to expose the Japanese rightists’ evil intent. Although South Korea also feels disgusted by Japanese right-wing forces, it will not stand up in opposition to Japan. Seoul is wary of its distance from China, Japan and the US.Japan militarism_Abe

We should not be too optimistic about the opinion war between China and Japan. To count on international opinion to press Japan has been proved unpractical, because the US and the West have no intention to stop Japan, despite their awareness of Japan’s dirty tricks. China should avoid a worse situation when it has to make strategic compromises with Japan in spite of Japan’s wrongdoings.

An aggressive Japan is nothing to be afraid of. China can well manage the security risks an overweeningly ambitious Japan poses. As long as China continues to rise, the US will deploy more forces in Asia. But between Beijing and Tokyo, Beijing has strategic advantage and is able to deter Tokyo.

With the increase of Japan’s military moves and the intensifying of confrontation between China and Japan, the region will face the pressure and new strategic elements are likely to emerge.

It’s almost 70 years since the end of WWII, but Japan has apparently forgotten about its past. The Japanese people have found every reason for their burning nationalistic ambitions.

Japan’s victorious past has gradually turned into the policies and actions of the Japanese government. It’s hard to say how far it will go, but what we need to do is to be ready in a way that makes Japan feel daunted.

Source: Source:Global Times Published: 2014-7-2 0:13:01

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Global bank profits hit US$920bil, China accounted for 1/3 total; Globalized RMB to stabilize world economy


LONDON: China’s top banks accounted for almost one-third of a record US$920 billion of profits made by the world’s top 1000 banks last year, showing their rise in power since the financial crisis, a survey showed on Monday.

China’s banks made $292 billion in aggregate pretax profit last year, or 32 percent of the industry’s global earnings, according to The Banker magazine’s annual rankings of the profits and capital strength of the world’s biggest 1,000 banks.

ICBCLast year’s global profits were up 23 percent from the previous year to their highest ever level, led by profits of $55 billion at Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). China Construction Bank, Agriculture Bank of China and Bank of China filled the top four positions.

Banks in the United States made aggregate profits of $183 billion, or 20 percent of the global tally, led by Wells Fargo’s earnings of $32 billion.

Banks in the eurozone contributed just 3 percent to the global profit pool, down from 25 percent before the 2008 financial crisis, the study showed. Italian banks lost $35 billion in aggregate last year, the worst performance by any country.

Banks in Japan made $64 billion of profit last year, or 7 percent of the global total, followed by banks in Canada, France and Australia ($39 billion in each country), Brazil ($26 billion) and Britain ($22 billion),The Banker said.

The magazine said ICBC kept its position as the world’s strongest bank, based on how much capital they hold – which reflects their ability to lend on a large scale and endure shocks.
china_construction_bank
China Construction Bank jumped to second from fifth in the rankings of strength and was followed by JPMorgan , Bank of America and HSBC .

ICBC, which took the top position last year for the first time, was one of four Chinese banks in the latest top 10.

Wells Fargo has this year jumped to become the world’s biggest bank by market value, after a surge in its share price on the back of sustained earnings growth. Its market value is $275 billion, about $75 billion more than ICBC.

The Banker said African banks made the highest returns on capital last year of 24 percent – double the average in the rest of the world and six times the average return of 4 percent at European lenders.- Reuters

Globalized RMB to stabilize world economy

RMBBEIJING, June 27 (Xinhua) — The globalization of the yuan, or renminbi (RMB), will not only benefit the Chinese economy, but generate global economic stability, a senior banker has said.

The yuan did not depreciate during the 1997 Asian financial crisis or the 2008 global financial crisis, helping stabilize the global economy, Tian Guoli, chairman of the Bank of China, said at a forum in London last week, according to the Friday edition of the People’s Daily.

China’s economy ranks second in the world and its trade ranks first, so it is thought that use of the RMB in cross-border trade will be a mutually beneficial move for China and its trade partners.

The yuan has acquired basic conditions to become an international currency as China’s gross domestic product took 12.4 percent of the world’s total and its foreign trade 11.4 percent of the world’s total in 2013, Tian said.

According to the central bank, RMB flow from China hit 340 billion yuan (55.74 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of 2014, replenishing offshore RMB fluidity. The balance of offshore RMB deposits hit 2.4 trillion yuan at the end of March, 1.51 percent of all global offshore deposits. Offshore trade between the yuan and foreign currencies doubled in the first quarter from the fourth quarter of last year.

Analysts widely forecast five steps in RMB internationalization: RMB used and circulated overseas, RMB as a currency of account in trade, RMB used in trade settlement, RMB as a currency for fundraising and investment, and RMB as a global reserve currency.

Already, some neighboring countries and certain regions in developed countries are circulating RMB, indicating the first step has been basically achieved.

Data provider SWIFT’s RMB tracker showed that in May, 1.47 percent of global payments were in RMB, a tiny amount compared to the global total but up from 1.43 percent in April. This indicated progress in the second and third steps.

Some countries in southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa have or are ready to take RMB as an official reserve currency. It indicated the fourth and the fifth steps are burgeoning.

Investors are also optimistic about RMB globalization. Bank of China’s global customer survey shows that over half of the respondents expect RMB cross-border transactions to rise by 20 to 30 percent in five years. And 61 percent of overseas customers say they plan to use or increase use of RMB as a settlement currency.

Li Daokui, head of the Center for China in the World Economy under Tsinghua University, said RMB internationalization is a long-term process and should be made gradually based on China’s financial reforms, including freeing interests and reforms on foreign exchange rates.

Dai Xianglong, former central bank governor of China, forecast that it will take about 10 to 15 years to achieve a high standard of RMB internationalization.

Among the latest moves toward RMB internationalization is the naming of two clearing banks to handle RMB business overseas.

The central bank announced last Wednesday that it has authorized China Construction Bank to be the clearing bank for RMB business in London, and the next day named the Bank of China as clearing bank for RMB business in Frankfurt.- Xindua

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China wants strong defense; Never seek hegemony on 5 Principles of Peaceful Coexistence; Japan, Philippines using rule of law pretext


Xi Jinping stresses building strong frontier defense

Senior Chinese leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Zhang Gaoli meet with representatives attending a national meeting on frontier and coast defense in Beijing, China, June 27, 2014. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

BEIJING, June 28 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping called for efforts to build a strong and solid frontier defense network for both territorial land and water at a national meeting held here on Friday.

Xi said, upon mentioning frontier defense, one cannot help thinking China’s modern history when the country was so weak and destitute that it was for everyone to bully.

Foreign aggressors broke China’s land and sea defense for hundreds of times, plunging the Chinese nation into the abysm of calamity, Xi added, calling on the people not to forget the history of humiliation and to build a strong frontier.

Xi urged China’s frontier defenders to meticulously monitor over and control the frontier and to mount actions to defend the country’s maritime right, while implementing an overall national security outlook.

Furthermore, Xi called for efforts from both the military and civilian communities to strike a balance between frontier defense and economic development, staunchly safeguarding frontier security, stability and prosperity.

Premier Li Keqiang and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli also attended the meeting. – Xindua

Xi pledges China will never seek hegemony

President re-affirms vow at meeting with leaders of Peaceful Coexistence doctrine’s founding countries
Xi pledges China will never seek hegemony
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday delivered a keynote speech at a commemoration marking the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.[Photo/Xinhua]

Xi pledges China will never seek hegemony

Chinese President Xi Jinping (front row C), Myanmar President U Thein Sein (front row 4th L) and Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari (front row 4th R) together with delegates from China, India and Myanmar attending a conference marking the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence pose for a group picture during their meeting in Beijing, capital of China, June 28, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

China will never seek hegemony, no matter how strong it becomes, President Xi Jinping said on Saturday at a high-profile meeting to mark the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

“China does not accept the logic that a strong country is bound to become hegemonic, and neither hegemony nor militarism is in the Chinese DNA,” Xi said in a speech, as he played host to leaders from Myanmar and India to commemorate the anniversary.

Citing poems and old sayings from the three countries, Xi called for dialogue based on equality to resolve disputes and joint efforts to preserve regional peace.

He also announced the establishment of a friendship award and an outstanding scholarship related to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. 

Xi pledges China will never seek hegemony

Myanmar leader hails ties

Observers said Xi’s remarks and the first meeting of leaders of all three of the peace code’s founding countries since its inception sought to assure the world of China’s peaceful development amid simmering tension in the East and South China seas.

It will take time for China, or any growing power, to be fully accepted by the world. But China will prove its intentions with its actions, based on the five principles, which can play a bigger role in the current international community, they added.

In 1954, the leaders of China, India and Myanmar initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. They are mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity; mutual non-aggression; non-interference in each other’s internal affairs; equality and mutual benefit; and peaceful coexistence.

The joint commemoration – especially the presence of Myanmar’s President U Thein Sein and India’s Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari – shows those two countries’ efforts to push forward the peace code and their relationship with China, said Zhang Jiuhuan, former director of the Department of Asian Affairs at the Foreign Ministry.

Having guided the rapid development of ties between China and Southeast Asia, the principles could also lead to the resolution of issues between China and some Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea, said Zhang, who is also a former Chinese ambassador to Singapore and Thailand.

Wang Fan, vice-president of China Foreign Affairs University, said the five principles could be developed to become a mechanism to guarantee the spirit’s future implementation.

East Asia – divided by an outdated alliance system – lacks a sound multilateral platform for cooperation. So the five principles under a mechanism could better restrict all concerned parties, he said.

Ansari also called for “a new paradigm for global action”, “a framework in which opportunities and challenges for the betterment of our societies coexist”.

The five principles “can act as a catalyst”, he said in a speech at the meeting.

By Zhao Shengnan (China Daily)

Japan, Philippines using rule of law pretext
BEIJING, June 27 — A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday said Japan and the Philippines have infringed on other countries’ interests under the pretext of rule of law.

“Some countries are provoking and stirring up tensions on the one hand and vilifying other countries under the pretext of rule of law,” Qin Gang said at a daily press briefing.

Qin’s comments came after Philippine President Benigno Aquino and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday called for use of “the rule of law” to solve regional disputes, at a time when both countries are embroiled in separate rows with China.

Qin said China has always been committed to working with relevant countries and resolving the disputes on the basis of historical facts and international laws.

He also said China does not accept the international arbitration put forward by some countries, not because it is afraid to do so. The country is only “exercising the legitimate rights of signatories to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

In early June, the Permanent Court of Arbitration asked China to submit evidence on its territorial claims in the South China Sea within six months for a procedural review of the suit filed by the Philippines.

China aims to properly resolve issues and protect regional peace and stability, which is also in line with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea , according to Qin.

“Some countries have infringed on the legitimate interests of other countries under the pretext of rule of law,” he added, urging Japan and the Philippines to reflect on their acts in accordance with international laws and the norms guiding international relations.

(Xinhua)AFP

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UNESCO accepts Nanjing Massacre, comfort women documents


More Video:  UNESCO accepts Nanjing Massacre, comfort women

China said on Thursday UNESCO has accepted its application to register records of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre and Japan’s wartime sex slaves on the Memory of the World Register.

Japan rising sun_Anti

The documents listed by China are first-hand materials that recorded Japanese invaders’ atrocities in Nanjing from Dec. 13, 1937 to March 1, 1938, including the slaughter of Chinese soldiers and civilians and the conscription of “comfort women”, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a daily press briefing.

The documents fit the criteria of the register, she said, adding that they should become the common memories of mankind and be cherished and protected by all mankind.

China submitted the application to cherish peace, respect human dignity and prevent the tragic and dark time from happening again, she said.

Japan has opposed the application.

The Japanese government’s opposition shows its false reading of history, Hua said, adding that China will not drop its application.

She urged Japan to face up to, remember and correctly tackle issues left over from history, instead of attempting to deny or even whitewash its aggression history.

“We hope the Japanese government shows remorse for its past and corrects its misdeeds with sincerity and concrete actions, to create a peaceful future with its Asian neighbors and people of the world,” she said.

Created in 1997, the Memory of the World Register protects the world’s documentary heritage.

Historians estimate that 200,000 women were forced into sexual servitude by Japanese forces during WWII, most of them from countries invaded by Japan at that time. – Xinhua

UNESCO listing helps to remind Japan of brutal history 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that China has submitted an application to UNESCO to list archives related to the brutalities committed by the Japanese military during WWII on the organization’s Memory of the World Register.At Tuesday’s regular briefing, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said these archives are precious historical documents concerning the Nanjing Massacre and comfort women. Expectedly, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga responded acidly, saying his government “will lodge a protest and ask China to withdraw the application if there is a political intention behind it.”

It seems that Japanese right-wing politicians have lost their logic. History is history, and misdeeds done against entire humankind cannot be undone. The right wing’s attempt to protest against authentic materials that can prove Japan’s wrongdoings in the past only demonstrates their cowardice in the face of historical facts. China won’t compromise on this matter as the atrocities perpetrated by Japanese troops are unarguable. They are globally confirmed facts. It would be a self-degradation if these Japanese rightists keep lying to themselves and the world.

The reason why Japanese right-wing groups swell with arrogance, to some extent, stems from the lack of global condemnation of their misdeeds. Compared with the attention of the world to what the Jewish people went through during WWII, there are fewer eyes focused on how East Asian victims suffered under the iron heel of the Japanese military.

This asymmetric attention leaves China at a disadvantaged position when arguing with Japan on historical issues. Some Western countries, which have a prejudiced view of China’s rise, are taking an ambiguous attitude toward Japan over historical issues.

In the last few years, China has been looking to the future and chosen not to be disturbed by historical rifts when developing relations with Japan. However, as Japan’s right deviation keeps speeding up with Shinzo Abe in office, China must realize that historical issues, a key component of the Sino-Japanese relationship, must top the agenda.

In this case, it is necessary for China to lead the world community in reviewing what a rightist, imperialist Japan did to East Asia and the rest of the world decades ago, and let them know the consequences of allowing a resurrection of the Japanese right wing. The more international support China can acquire, the less breathing space these Japanese rightists will have. -

By Liu Zhun Global Times
Related:

UNESCO receives Chinese bid for listing of Nanjing documents China is applying to UNESCO to list 11 sets of documents relating to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre on the Memory of the World Register.

China confirms ‘comfort women’ docs given to UNESCO

China has submitted applications to UNESCO to preserve the archives that confirm the suffering of “comfort women”, in order to make them part of the Memory of the World Register.

“By applying for the inclusion of precious historical documents related to the Nanjing Massacre and Japan’s forced recruitment of the ‘comfort women’ in the register, China intends to commemorate history, treasure peace, uphold the dignity of mankind, and prevent such offences against humanity, human rights, and human beings from ever happening again.”

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying confirmed the news at a regular press conference on Tuesday.

When asked whether the Chinese government has applied for the inclusion of relevant files and documents, Hua said that Memory of the World Register is an important initiative launched by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which collects manuscripts and rare documents preserved in libraries and archives as well as oral historical records of worldwide significance.

China has been active in making applications to the Memory of the World Register and currently has nine documents listed on the register. What has been submitted on this occasion is a series of authentic, rare and precious documents with historical significance, which meet the standard of application.

The application follows recent comments by leading Japanese politicians and academics casting doubt on the plight of the comfort women.

The Japanese Imperial Army had a policy of forcing women captured in occupied lands to work as sex slaves in military brothels.

What is Memory of the World Register?

UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme is an international initiative launched to safeguard the documentary heritage of humanity against collective amnesia, neglect, the ravages of time and climatic conditions, and willful and deliberate destruction.

It calls for the preservation of valuable archival holdings, library collections and private individual compendia from all over the world for posterity, for the reconstitution of dispersed or displaced documentary heritage, and for increased access to and dissemination of these items.

This documentary heritage serves as a mirror, reflecting the diversity of language, ethnic groups and culture, and also the memory of the world.

However, much documentary heritage is fragile, and we are losing memories every day. UNESCO has therefore launched the program as a way to preserve and promote documentary heritage, which can be a single document, a collection, a holding, or an archive that is deemed to be of such significance as to transcend the boundaries of time and culture.

As of June 2013, there were 299 items of international significance from 100 countries included in “Memory of the World”. China has nine documents listed on the register. They are:

Ancient Naxi Dongba Literary Manuscripts
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2003.

Ben Cao Gang Mu ( Compendium of Materia Medica)
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2011.

Golden Lists of the Qing Dynasty Imperial Examination
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2005.

Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon)
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2011.

Official Records of Tibet from Yuan Dynasty China, 1304-1367
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2013.

Qiaopi and Yinxin Correspondence and Remittance Documents from Overseas Chinese
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2013.

Qing Dynasty Yangshi Lei Archives
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2007.

Records of the Qing’s Grand Secretariat – ‘Infiltration of Western Culture in China’
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 1999.

Traditional Music Sound Archives
Documentary heritage submitted by China and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 1997. – (People’s Daily Online)

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