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China criticizes U.S. military bill

Published By United Press International
BEIJING, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Chinese officials said Monday an amendment to the U.S. military spending bill acknowledging Japan's sovereign right to a set of disputed islands is a violation.

Both houses of the U.S. congress passed the $633 billion 2013 National Defense Authorization Act with an amendment stating that while "the United States takes no position on the ultimate sovereignty of the Senkaku islands," it acknowledges Japan's administration of the islands in the East China Sea, The New York Times reported. The islands are known in China as the Diaoyu islands and are also contested by Taiwan.

An editorial in the state-run China Daily newspaper said the amendment is "a blatant violation of China's sovereign rights."

"The United States meddling in the dispute over the Diaoyu islands is detrimental to regional peace and stability," the paper said, "as it will only embolden the increasingly rightist Japan."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the islands have been under Chinese sovereignty since ancient times and is deeply concerned about the bill. She also criticized a second amendment in the bill allowing for the sale of dozens of new F-16 C/D fighter jets to Taiwan, Xinhua reported.

"[The United States] should do more to facilitate regional peace and stability, and help the stable growth of ties between China and the United States as well as the ones across the Taiwan Strait," Hua said.

U.S. President Barack Obama could sign the military spending bill this week, the Times reported.
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Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa