BEIJING – The United States must revamp its history on the South China Sea because the World War II agreements stipulate that all Chinese territories taken by Japan must be returned to China, said Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
China has been shocked by previous comments from the new US administration on the disputed waterway.
At his Senate confirmation hearing, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said China should not have access to the islands it has built there. The White House also promised to defend “international territories” in the strategic waterway.
In comments made on the Foreign Ministry website on Tuesday night, Wang said he had a “suggestion” for these American friends. “Pinch yourself on the history of the Second World War,” Wang said during a visit to Canberra, Australia.
The 1943 Cairo Declaration and the 1945 Potsdam Declaration clearly stipulated that Japan should return to China all of China’s territory taken by Japan, Wang said.
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“This includes the Nansha Islands,” he added, using the name of China for the Spratly Islands.
“In 1946 the Chinese government, with the help of the United States openly and in accordance with the law, took over the Nansha islands and the reefs that Japan had occupied, and resumed the exercise of sovereignty,” said Wang.
“Subsequently, some countries around China used illegal methods to occupy some of the Nansha islands and reefs, and this is what created the so-called South China Sea conflict.”