World / Asia-Pacific

Chinese experts urge Diaoyu Islands school textbooks

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-04-06 17:23

BEIJING - Chinese experts have suggested school textbooks include Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) literary evidence on the discovery of the Diaoyu Islands by China, following Japanese approval for competing claims to be covered in school books in Japan.

Peng Ling, an expert on antique books with the China Association of Collectors, said that the Diaoyu Islands have belonged to China since ancient times and that China is responsible for letting its youth learn historical fact.

On Friday, the Japanese government approved new elementary school textbooks claiming the Diaoyu Islands as part of Japan's territory, arousing denunciation from China.

"The Japanese government ignores facts and legal basis, and even tends to impose false facts on their future generations," said Peng.

The literary evidence, written by Qing-Dynasty academic Qian Yong, depicts the trip to the Diaoyu Islands made by Shen Fu, a writer and painter, and officials in 1808 during the ruling period of Emperor Jiaqing (1796-1820).

The record was penned 76 years earlier than 1884, when the Japanese claimed they found the islands.

"Qian Yong's handwriting proves to the world that, at least in 1808, the Diaoyu Islands were located in China's territorial sea, about a day's sea voyage to the then Japanese boundary," said Fu Xuancong, director of Tsinghua University's research center of classic literature.

Li Guoqiang, researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that Qian's narration is clear and concise, and is worthy of being included in textbooks with photos of the original document, in order to let students have a correct understanding of the Diaoyu Islands.

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