China rebuffs Japan claims over Diaoyu

Source:Global Times - AFP Published: 2017/5/20 0:18:39

Chinese marine surveillance ships have continued their regular patrols in the territorial waters surrounding the Diaoyu Islands on Feb. 15, 2013. The destination is the waters 3-nautical miles from the Diaoyu Islands. The 4-hour patrol was completed after the fleet sailed around Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets.(Xinhua/Zhang Jiansong)

China on Friday rebuffed Japan's claim that China is escalating tensions over the Diaoyu Island as Japan accused China of flying a drone over the East China Sea waters.

"Of course we cannot accept the so-called negotiations or protests of the Japanese side," Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing.

"As far as I know, the Chinese coast guard did not send or fly the unmanned aerial vehicle. It was used by the media for aerial photography; it was not a military action as some media have hyped," she said.

It was China's "inherent right" to conduct regular patrols in its own territory, Hua noted.

Yoshihide Suga, Japan's top government spokesman, told a regular briefing that the incident took place Thursday and that Japan lodged a "strong protest."

Japan dispatched four planes, including two F-15 fighters and an airborne warning and control system plane to waters surrounding the islets, Japan's defense ministry said.

Coast guard ships from the two nations routinely patrol the area, known for rich fishing grounds.

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