BEIJING, March 14 (ChinaMil) -- "The China-Japan relations are witnessing gradual improvement, but the momentum for the improvement is very fragile," said Cheng Yonghua, Chinese Ambassador to Japan and member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee in an interview with Global Times in Beijing on March 10, 2016.
He said that the most important issue is Japan's perception. The problem whether Japan regards China as a partner, threat or an opponent remains unsolved.
Cheng Yonghua first combed the recent development of China-Japan relations. He said that we call the time before November 2014 as “the most severe situation” and “the most difficult period.”
At that time, Cheng said, the Japanese side stirred up historical issues and territorial disputes, the Chinese side had to safeguard its sovereignty and interests. After several rounds of consultations, the two sides reached four principles of consensus in November 2014.
“If people do not comply with the original rules, then we will re-establish rules,” said Cheng Yonghua. This reaffirms the four political documents between China and Japan and based on the spirit of these principles,the two sides can improve bilateral relations.
Later, the China-Japan relations entered the process of gradual improvement and there have been many positive interactions. But the momentum for the improvement is very fragile and there are yet many problems.
In terms of the problems in the China-Japan relations, Cheng Yonghua said the Japanese side still has some negative remarks and behaviors on historical issues.
More importantly, Chen stressed that Japan's cognitive problem of China is unresolved. “This is reflected in Japan’s new security law last year,” Cheng said, “We are concerned about whether Japan will adhere to the road of peaceful development and whether that affects China's security interests.We object Japan’s behavior of using China as an excuse in this process of implementing new security law.”
Cheng criticized that Japan’s speculation of "China threat theory" is not conducive to improving bilateral relations.It is not conducive to regional peace and stability, in fact, Japan is using it as an excuse for its own expansion of armaments.
Recently, Japan has been frequently involved in South China Sea issues. BBC reported on March 10 that the president of the Philippines announced on March 9 that it will lease five Japanese trainers for the patrol in South China Sea islands and reefs.
According to previous sources, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force will send frigates and submarines to visit the Philippines and then they will stop at Vietnam. On Japan’s support to the Philippines, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular press conference on March 10 that "Japan is not a party related to the South China Sea dispute. We are on high alert against its move. We urge the Japanese side to act with prudence instead of further complicating the situation and jeopardizing regional peace and stability. "
Cheng Yonghua told the Global Times that what is happening in the South China Sea is that someone comes here to flaunt his prowess and Japan is following the trend and is fanning the flames, and even tries to summon some small brothers to contain China.
This is a wrong starting point and reflects Japan's perception of China. Japan views China as an opponent and wants to contain China, which is actually a kind of Cold War thinking. Chen said that China has repeatedly made it clear to the Japanese side what the South China Sea issue really is and how to maintain stability in the South China Sea. However, Japan’s remarks and actions now are not conducive to regional security and stability, China hopes that Japan can recognize the situation and give positive responses.
“It is very clear that China attaches great importance to the China-Japan relations and China is working to advance the improvement process according to the four political documents and four principles of consensus," said Cheng Yonghua.
Now the dialogue and communication in different levels and fields between China and Japan have been gradually restored. The economic cooperation, non-governmental exchanges and personnel exchanges between the two countries are in the recovery, and there is even a great growth. But the cognitive problem is fundamental and it is necessary for Japan to adjust.
“The Japanese side also pledged to improve bilateral relations verbally, but this verbal representation and its negative words and deeds form confusing and unclear information”, Chen added.
By Sun Xiaobo, reporter with the Global Times. The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and don't represent views of the China Military Online website.