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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs