Maritime patrol near Diaoyu Islands irreproachable: China

December 9th, 2008 - 11:58 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Dec 9 (DPA) China Tuesday rejected Japan’s protests over its ships entering the waters near the disputed Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, saying maritime patrolling in its territorial waters is “irreproachable”.”The Diaoyu Islands and adjacent islets are Chinese territories since ancient times. The usual cruising of the Chinese ships within Chinese seas is irreproachable,” said foreign ministry spokesperson Liu Jianchao.

Liu’s comments came in response to a question regarding the reported marine surveillance by Chinese ships in the seas near the disputed islands Monday.

The islands, a source of bilateral tension for many years, are called Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.

The islands have been held by Japan since China’s defeat in the Sino-Japanese War in 1895, but both China and Taiwan claim those islands.

On Monday, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Takeo Kawamura said the incursion of the two Chinese maritime survey ships in the disputed waters was “extremely regrettable” and demanded their withdrawal.

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