China calls Japan-U.S. island drill “provocative”

An aerial photo shows a Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 66 (C) cruising next to Japan Coast Guard patrol ships in the East China Sea, near known as Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 23, 2013. REUTERS/KyodoPhoto Credit: Reuters/Kyodo

(Reuters) – China said on Wednesday that “provocative actions” would not sway it from defending its territory, after Japan confirmed it would conduct military drills with the United States amid tension between Beijing and Tokyo over disputed islands.

Japan said on Tuesday that the joint drill, scheduled for June off California, involved the recapture of an isolated island but was not aimed at scenarios involving a specific country, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said “foreign pressure” could not sway China from protecting its territorial sovereignty in the East China Sea.

“For any related provocative actions, the Chinese government will maintain a resolute response,” Hua told reporters at a regular news briefing when asked about the drills.

“We have always upheld the same stance on issues related to the Diaoyu Islands: to appropriately solve, manage and control the relevant issues through bilateral dialogue and negotiations.”

Beijing and Tokyo have both protested over an incident on Tuesday in which Chinese patrol vessels played cat-and-mouse with a flotilla of Japanese nationalists near the uninhabited islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

The Japanese government bought the islands near rich fishing grounds and potentially lucrative maritime gas fields from a private Japanese owner last year, sparking sometimes-violent anti-Japanese protests across China.


Reuters has the full article

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