BEIJING, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- A Foreign Ministry spokesman on Thursday said Japan must clarify and explain recent comments made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe concerning China.
Spokesman Hong Lei made the remark after a regular press conference.
In an interview with the Washington Post conducted before paying a visit to the U.S., Abe said China has a "deeply ingrained" need to spar with Japan and other Asian neighbors over territory, as the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) uses the disputes to maintain strong domestic support.
"The Chinese side was astonished at the report," Hong said.
It is rare for a country's leader to brazenly assault its neighbor and instigate antagonism, Hong said, adding that such behavior goes against the will of the international community.
Hong said China is committed to developing relations with Japan but will not sit by and watch the country distort China's diplomatic policy or make antagonistic moves regarding territorial issues.
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