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China to take Japanese leader on: FM

China will take on Japanese leader Shinzo Abe till the very end if he persists in visiting the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday.

China has stated repeatedly its stance on Abe's visit to the shrine, which honors Japan's war dead including 14 convicted Class-A war criminals from WWII, Hua told a daily press briefing.

The move whitewashes Japanese aggression and colonial rule, overthrows the international community's trial of Japanese militarism and challenges the post-war international order, the spokeswoman said.

It is Abe himself who shuts the door on dialogue with Chinese leaders, said Hua, adding that his statements show that he does not have any intention to better ties with neighboring countries including China.

Abe said in a television program on Wednesday that he will continue to carry on with the responsibility of being prime minister even if his shrine visit was criticized, according to a report of Japan's Jiji Press.

Abe's remark indicated that he plans to continue to visit the shrine, said the report.

It is the Japanese leader's responsibility to face up to history and reflect upon and correct his mistake, said Hua.

"If he persists in his wrong course, and adheres to a road of confrontation and provocation, we will definitely take him on till the very end," she said.

In response to a report that Japan confirmed China canceled three delegations originally planned to visit Japan this month, Hua said Abe's shrine visit has apparently had a negative impact on China-Japan ties.

"It is Japan which should take all the responsibility," she said, urging its leader to change course.

When asked to comment on Japan's recent move to register 280 remote islands as national assets, Hua said China will keep a close eye on the issue.

Japan's move on maritime issues should accord with international laws and not impair the interests of other countries and the international community, said Hua.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 09Jan14]

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