UPI in English  |   UPI Arabic  |   UPI en Español  |   UPIU

China to patrol disputed islands

Published By United Press International
BEIJING, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Chinese defense officials said they will step up maritime patrols surrounding a set of islands at the center of a territorial dispute with Japan.

Japanese F-15 fighter planes intercepted a Chinese surveillance aircraft headed for the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea Saturday. In response, China's Defense Ministry said it will be "highly vigilant" and "protect the country's territorial integrity and maritime rights," Xinhua news agency reported Thursday.

Military spokesman Yang Yujun said China's navy will protect the islands, of which both nations claim ownership.

"We will decisively fulfill our tasks and missions while coordinating with relevant departments ... so as to safeguard China's maritime law enforcement activities and protect the country's territorial integrity and maritime rights," Yang said.

The spokesman criticized Japan for straining relations between the two countries.

"China-Japan defense relations are an important and sensitive part of bilateral ties, and the Japanese side should face up to the difficulties and problems that currently exist," Yang said.
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.

Photo Gallery
1 of 1
Tour de France concludes in Paris
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