China urges settling Diaoyu dispute through negotiations

Updated: 2012-09-13 21:26


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BEIJING - China on Thursday urged Japan to stop violating its sovereignty and return to the track of resolving dispute over the Diaoyu Islands through negotiations.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the comment at a regular news briefing here.

"We urge the Japanese side to make concrete efforts to correct its mistakes, immediately stop activities that undermine China's sovereignty, and come back to the understanding and consensus reached between the two sides, and return to the track of settling the dispute through negotiations," Hong told reporters.

Hong's remarks came after the Japanese government on Tuesday signed a contract with a so-called "private owner" to "purchase" the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated Nan Xiaodao and Bei Xiaodao to "nationalize" them.

During the negotiations for the normalization of bilateral diplomatic relations in 1972 and the signing of the Japan-China Peace and Friendship Treaty in 1978, the then leaders of the two nations, with the overall situation of bilateral ties in mind, reached the important mutual understanding and consensus of putting aside the issue of the Diaoyu Island for a final solution in the future, which served as a precondition for the normalization and the great development of bilateral ties as well as stability and tranquility in East Asia over the past 40 years, according to a statement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday.

"After Japan's illegal 'purchase' of the islands, the Chinese government has made clear its strong opposition and taken a series of effective countermeasures to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity," said the spokesman.

Hong said the Chinese people were indignant at Japan's wrongdoing and firmly supported the Chinese government on its righteous demand and effective measures.