BEIJING, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi on Thursday voiced stern concern over the passage of security bills that will expand the role of Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF).
Yang made clear China's stance on the issue and urged the Japanese side to earnestly draw lessons from history, stick to the route of peaceful development, respect the major security concerns of its neighbors and not to do any thing detrimental to regional peace and stability.
Yang made the remarks as he co-chaired the first China-Japan high-level political dialogue in Beijing with Shotaro Yachi, head of Japan's National Security Council.
Yang pointed out that in the international circumstances of seeking peace, development, cooperation and win-win collaboration, the Japanese side runs against the tide of the times and the general trend of the world by accelerating the build-up of its military muscles and significantly changing its military security policy.
"(This move) cannot but raise concern and questions from neighboring countries and the rest of the international community on whether Japan will abolish its pacifist posture," Yang said.
The passing of the bills by the lower house of Japan's parliament has drawn opposition from inside Japan. A number of opposition parties tried to block a vote on the bills and strongly condemned the ruling coalition. Local opinion polls showed that more than half of Japanese people hold negative views on the bills.
Yang said that for historical reasons, Japan's military and security developments have been closely watched by its neighbors and the international community at large.
He described the passing of the bills as Japan's "unprecedented move" in military and security areas since the end of World War II.
Yang emphasized that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascists War.
"The Japanese side should unmistakably send positive messages on the issue of history," Yang said, adding that the Japanese side should, in the meantime, focus on policies that are practically conducive to the growth of China-Japan relations.
"At a time when people are remembering history and hoping for peace, we solemnly urge Japan to draw lessons from history and stick to the path of peaceful development," Yang said.
Yang pointed out that China-Japan relations have been improving as dialogue and exchanges in various areas have resumed or increased.
He said China insisted on advancing bilateral links through the four-point principled consensus on the basis of the four political documents.
Calling Japan-China relations "very important", Shotaro Yachi said Japan-China ties had improved following the meeting between both leaders during the APEC summit in Beijing last year.
Japan expects to see further improvement of bilateral ties, he said.
Japan is committed to fulfilling the consensus with China which acknowledges both countries are cooperation partners and pose no threat to one another, he said.
Yachi told Yang his China visit aims to exchange views with China on the development of bilateral ties, adding that Japan hopes to maintain political dialogue with China and keep the momentum for better ties.