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Xi brings up historical issues in speech

China's President Xi Jinping has brought up historical issues between Japan and its neighbors in a speech in South Korea, apparently to build a united front against Japan.

Xi was speaking to students at Seoul National University on Friday.

He said Japan, under militarism, carried out a brutal war against China and South Korea, annexed the Korean Peninsula and occupied part of China, and that the two countries' people suffered tremendously.

He stressed their joint resistance against militarist Japan by pointing out that the two peoples shared a fate and helped each other with full effort.

On Thursday, participants at a joint news conference and a joint statement by Xi and South Korean President Park Guen-hye did not directly mention the historical issues.

Analysts say this is because Seoul has likely considered the position of the United States, which has shown concern over South Korea's working closely with China on the issues.

Xi apparently tried to show China's strong intention to continue pressing Japan with South Korea by bringing up the issues in his speech.

Jul. 4, 2014 - Updated 07:39 UTC