【人民日報（電子英文版）】China demands Japan correct wrongdoing of allowing Lee Teng-hui’s entry
The Chinese government again requests the Japanese government to correct its wrongdoing of permitting Lee Teng-Hui’s tour to Japan, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.Japan reportedly issued tourist visas to Lee Teng-hui, allowing him and his family to visit Nagoya and Kyoto for “sightseeing.” The Japanese government said Lee would not conduct any political activity during his stay in Japan.
When asked to comment on this issue at a press conference, spokesman Liu Jianchao said the Japanese government, disregarding the solemn representation and firm opposition from the Chinese government, stubbornly allowed Lee to go to Japan to carry out separatist activities.
“The Chinese government expresses strong dissatisfaction and again demands the Japanese side rectify this wrong.”
The political aim of Lee’s tour is obviously to find people to back his bid for “Taiwan independence” and create external conditions for his separatism, said Liu, noting Japan clearly knows the point.
At a press conference held last Thursday, Liu described Lee as the chief representative of radicals seeking “Taiwan independence.”
“The Japanese government’s disregarding Sino-Japanese relations and permitting Lee’s visit to Japan are connivance and support for ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist activity, as well as provocation to China’s peaceful reunification cause,” he said at that conference.
Lee, leader of the Taiwan authority from 1988 to 2000, always tried to raise Taiwan’s “international profile” during his 12 years as the leader of the island, and went further and further on the way toward “Taiwan independence.”
In 1995, he visited the United States on the pretext of an academic tour, which led to a serious retrogression in Sino-US relations and agitated the tense situation across the Straits.
In 1999, before he stepped down, he redefined the island’s ties with the mainland as special “state-to-state” relations.
【Reuters】Japan to Give Taiwan’s Lee Visa Despite China’s Fury
Japan said Monday it would issue a visa as scheduled for former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui to visit for sightseeing despite angry protests from China.
Relations between Tokyo and Beijing have already been chilled by a string of disputes, including one over Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s regular visits to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, where war criminals are honored with other Japanese war dead.”We plan to issue a visa as scheduled,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda told reporters. He did not say when the outspoken Lee would receive his visa.
Beijing, which sees self-ruled, democratic Taiwan as a renegade Chinese province, has protested to Japan over its decision to let Lee visit and urged Tokyo to scrap the plan.
Lee, 81, and his family are expected to arrive in Nagoya in central Japan on Dec. 27 and visit hot springs before leaving for home on Dec. 31, Japanese media said.
Hosoda urged media not to follow Lee and report on his trip as the visit was “private” with no political intentions.
In Beijing Monday, about 45 furious Chinese shouting slogans and carrying banners gathered outside the Japanese embassy to protest over Lee’s visit. One protester burned a drawing of Koizumi.
A spokesman for the group, calling themselves the “Patriotic Alliance,” read aloud a lengthy statement denouncing Japan’s decision and its militarist past.
“If the Japanese government doesn’t heed the Chinese government’s warning, and allows Lee Teng-hui to visit Japan, it will cause a fierce reaction,” spokesman Zhang Jianyong told reporters.
“The Japanese side is intentionally provoking this issue and causing problems that are none of its business.”
A Chinese diplomat urged Tokyo Monday to reverse its visa decision.
“It is certain that it (the visa issuance) will have a negative effect on Japan-China ties,” Cheng Yonghua, minister at the Chinese embassy in Tokyo, told reporters.
Kyodo news agency quoted Cheng as saying that Lee’s planned visit, if it took place, would become a “new dispute” between the two Asian rivals.
“Next year, which marks the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, is an important and sensitive year to look into the future of Japan-China ties,” he was quoted as saying.
Lee tried to raise Taiwan’s diplomatic profile during his 12 years as president, redefining its ties with China in 1999 as “special state-to-state” relations and causing Beijing to break off fence-mending talks which remain suspended to this day.
Lee stepped down as president in 2000 and became “spiritual leader” of a new party with an avowed pro-independence stance.
He last came to Japan in 2001 for medical treatment, triggering an angry response from Beijing.
【BBC(英国)】Japan gives visa to Taiwan’s Lee
Tokyo insists Mr Lee is visiting as a private citizen and therefore his trip does not violate Japan’s ban on official contacts with Taiwan.
But China warned last week that bilateral relations would be harmed if Japan granted the visa.The visa row coincides with a period of tension between China and Japan, who often compete for regional resources.
Mr Lee’s visa will allow him to enter Japan once and stay up to 15 days.
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told reporters that Mr Lee was travelling to Japan as a tourist, not a politician, “so there is no reason to turn down his application”.
It has been four years since Mr Lee left office, but Beijing makes a point of objecting to other countries giving him access.In Chinese eyes, even the smallest concessions on this issue could shore up Taiwanese dreams of independence, according to the BBC correspondent in Tokyo, Jonathan Head.
During his 12 years as Taiwanese president, Mr Lee edged the island towards formal independence, infuriating Beijing, which sees Taiwan as a breakaway province.
The last time Mr Lee visited Japan was in 2001 for medical treatment. That trip also sparked Chinese anger.
Relations between China and Japan have been soured in recent weeks by an alleged incursion by a Chinese submarine into Japanese waters, and a continuing row over repeated visits by Mr Koizumi to the country’s Yasukuni Shrine.
The shrine is dedicated to the souls of the country’s war dead, including convicted war criminals, and is viewed by other Asian nations as a symbol of Japanese wartime aggression.
【International Herald Tribune】Beijing demands Tokyo back down; Koizumi unruffled TOKYO
Japan issued a tourist visa on Tuesday for former President Lee Teng-hui of Taiwan to visit this month, adding a major irritant to Tokyo’s already-tense relations with Beijing leaders who revile Lee as an agitator for Taiwan’s formal independence.
Beijing insists Taiwan is a part of its territory and opposes contact between the self-ruled island’s leaders and other countries – even visits by former leaders. And Lee’s visit would come as ties between Japan and China slide to their lowest level in years.
China’s Communist leaders especially despise Lee, whom they accuse of trying to make Taiwan’s de facto independence permanent.”It is hard for us to understand why Japan is giving a favor to someone who slanders and attacks China,” said the Chinese ambassador to Japan, Wang Yi. “This will send a shock through Sino-Japanese relations, which have shown signs of improvement.
“Tokyo announced last week that it would issue the visa for Lee. China urged it to reconsider, and renewed its appeal on Tuesday after Japanese Foreign Ministry officials said the visa had been issued.Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi brushed off concerns about a harsh reaction from China. Referring to Lee, he said: “He wants to travel as a private citizen. So there is no reason to turn down his application. He also graduated from a Japanese university.”
China and Japan are feuding over the ownership of islands in the East China Sea, the rights to explore natural gas in the area, and historical accounts of Japan’s invasion of China in the 1930s.
Last month, the Japan Navy went on alert after a Chinese submarine was spotted in Japanese waters. Japan lodged a formal complaint, and said later that Beijing had apologized.
“We hope that Japan can rectify its incorrect decision,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman, Liu Jianchao, said in Beijing. “It is obvious that Lee Teng-hui harbors political will in his visit to Japan. The spokesman asserted that Lee was “aiming to find backing” in Japan for “his Taiwan splittist activities.”
Lee, who stepped down as president of Taiwan in 2000 to become “spiritual leader” of a pro-independence party, tried to raise Taiwan’s diplomatic profile during his 12-year tenure. He redefined the island’s ties with China in 1999 as “special state-to-state” relations, causing Beijing to break off fence-mending talks which remain suspended to this day.
Liu urged Tokyo to revoke its decision to issue the visa for Lee.
“The Japanese government is acting in this regard against the solemn representations of the Chinese government,” Liu said. “We oppose this and call on the Japanese government to rectify these moves.”
But an assistant press secretary at the Japanese Foreign Ministry, Akira Chiba, said, “The visa has been issued,” adding that the document had been issued in Taiwan in the morning.
“This does not mean we are having exchanges between governments,” Chiba said. In view of that, he said, the government believed that “this is not the type of matter that will have a negative impact.”
But Wang, in a speech to Japanese business leaders, warned that a worsening of Chinese-Japanese political relations could put a damper on thriving economic ties between the two Asian powers. “The economic relations between China and Japan have a bright future and great potential,” he said. “But obstacles involving political relations are clearly having a negative effect on bilateral economic cooperation.”
Japan’s top government spokesman, Hiroyuki Hosoda, had said on Thursday that Japan would issue the visa for Lee on the understanding that the former president would not carry out political activities during his stay.
Lee and his family are expected to arrive in Nagoya, in central Japan, next Monday and visit hot springs before leaving for home on Jan. 2, Japanese media have said. Hosoda urged news organizations a on Monday not to follow Lee or report on his trip as the visit was “private” with no political intentions.
On Tuesday, Hosoda said the government had asked top executives of the governing and opposition parties and politicians with “deep ties” to Taiwan not to meet with Lee.
Asked whether it would be “undesirable” for Japanese politicians to meet with Lee, he said, “Absolutely, yes.”
In Beijing on Monday, about 45 Chinese shouting slogans and carrying banners gathered outside the Japanese Embassy and protested Lee’s visit. One protester burned a drawing of Koizumi.
Lee last came to Japan in 2001 for medical treatment, triggering an angry response from Beijing, which has said it would not rule out using military force to retake Taiwan if it declared formal independence. “Lee Teng-hui, who is a troublemaker, may become a war-maker,” the Chinese ambassador said.