News / Asia

China Lambasts Japan's Wartime Aggression to German Chancellor

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) chats with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during the signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, July 7, 2014.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) chats with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during the signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, July 7, 2014.
VOA News

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Beijing where she met Monday with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

The German leader is heading a large business delegation, and discussions with senior Chinese leaders are expected to focus on business and political ties.

Merkel arrived in Beijing Monday from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. She spent a day of her three-day visit there to tap business potential for German firms in western China.

China, which frequently praises Germany for its contrition over World War II, pointedly emphasized Japanese wartime aggression on Monday.

Premier Li Keqiang's comments come as China intensifies an anti-Japan propaganda campaign focused on wartime atrocities after Tokyo ended a ban on its military fighting abroad last week.

In remarks to mostly German and Chinese reporters, as well as Merkel, Li pointed out that Monday was the 77th anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish in 1937 that sparked an all-out Sino-Japanese war. Li said the day was one “the Chinese people must always bear firmly in mind.”

“Facing an all-encompassing war started by Japanese militarists against China, the Chinese people rose up with all their strength to resist,” Li said. “They resisted in the blood-soaked war for eight years before finally achieving victory.

“We must always remember history to correctly face up to the past,” he added.

China has often contrasted Germany with Japan, which it says has sought to rewrite history by whitewashing military aggression.

Diplomatic sources have told Reuters Germany did not want to get dragged into the dispute between China and Japan, and dislikes China constantly bringing up Germany's painful past.

Merkel made no mention of the war in public comments.

In comments to reporters, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo would watch China “closely” on issues of history.

“The Japanese government believes that it is not beneficial for regional peace and cooperation that China tries to turn history and other issues into international issues,” he said. “Japan's post-war steps as a peace-loving nation are highly lauded in international society.”

Ties between China and Japan, Asia's largest economies, have been shadowed by friction over Beijing's military rise and a territorial dispute in the East China Sea, as well as ugly memories about Japan's occupation of parts of China before and during World War II.

Japanese leaders have repeatedly apologized for suffering caused by the country's wartime actions, including a landmark 1995 apology by then-Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama. Japan's government, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has repeatedly said that Japan has faced up to its past sincerely.

But contradictory remarks from conservative politicians have cast doubt on that sincerity.

Chinese President Xi Jinping made a lengthy speech, aired on state television, in commemorating the Marco Polo anniversary.

“The Chinese people, who have paid a heavy sacrifice, will unswervingly defend with their blood and lives the history that has been written,” Xi said. “It is regrettable that... there is still a small portion on people who ignore reality, move against the tide of history, and repeatedly deny or even beautify a history of aggression, harming international trust, creating regional tensions and sparking censure from the Chinese people as well as all the peace-loving people of the world.” 

This is Merkel's seventh visit to China as chancellor. She plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping later Monday. Xi visited Germany in March where the two leaders signed various trade and economic agreements.

Reuters contributed to this report.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Patrick from: Ca
July 14, 2014 12:34 PM
We are to blame for Chinese rise to power, Wall Street could not resist the cheap labor! Now USA is out of jobs and china is growing communist threat! Bad on our heads of state and industry, bring jobs back home, or at least to countries who appreciate our business and show reciprocity,

by: william Li from: canada
July 07, 2014 4:36 PM
the world must watch Japan closely. Japan keeps denying its war atrocity and worshiping wwii war criminals in a shrine! now america is losing the dog chain on japan, its a very bad move. this japan dog will bite again!
China and Korea can see it clearly. we will work together to defeat the evil japan! we, oversea chinese support you Xi!

by: Scheneider from: B.R.Deutschland
July 07, 2014 7:25 AM
German chanceller Merkel is too intelligent and amicable to Japanese people to be involved in Sino plot to lambast Japan. She is not interested in Sino-Japan disputes over historical awareness or teritorial problems. She knows very well that Xi Jinping is forced to insult Japanese people just in order to maintain his regime because his opponents are aiming at his present position. Poor Chinese!
In Response

by: William Li from: canada
July 07, 2014 4:42 PM
Thank you all German friends, we are grateful for your transferring the advanced gas turbine technology to China which is essential to our new generation warships! Now we can use your advanced technology to build our own warship turbines! we will use these warships to destroy Japanese navy!
Thank again, I love Germany!
In Response

by: SEATO
July 07, 2014 1:52 PM
Mr Xi picked the wrong person to condemn Japan's wartime past,a sensitive issue which Mrs Merkel 'd rather not want to talk about.Anyway,let's put the past behind and concentrate on the present and look forward to the future.China now poses serious security threats to World peace with its massive military build-ups and excessively illegal and unreasonable territorial claims.

Japan's change of its pacifist constitutions and the introduction of Collective Self Defence are necessary and vital measures to safeguard not only Japan's sovereignty but also to deter China from waging wars on its smaller neighbours to seize more lands,seas and resources.China's criticism of Japan's imperial past is just a dirty smear campaign to discredit and isolate Japan,so that China can go on setting up a new World Order without being challenged.

Has the Chinese government ever shown any remorse for the massacre of millions of Tibetans,Uighurs,Vietnamese and Chinese? No. So stop acting innocent.By the way,the Chinese never defeated the Japanese.The Americans did and they handed the ungrateful Chinese their independence back on a plate.The Chinese didn't want to be ruled over by foreigners,neither do the Uighurs,Tibetans and Mongols.So stop being hypocrites,get out of their lands and let them decide their own future

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs