The Diaoyu Islands are a group of uninhabited islands located roughly due east of mainland China, northeast of Taiwan, west of Okinawa Island, and north of the southwestern end of the Ryukyu Islands. They are currently controlled by Japan, which calls them Senkaku Islands. Both China and Taiwan claim sovereignty over the islands.
PLA warns US over backing Japan in Diaoyus row
PLA cautions visiting American envoy against backing Japan in East China Sea territorial spat
Reuters in Beijing
The PLA told the United States this week not to support Japan, nor let it do as it pleased, over the disputed Diaoyus in the East China Sea, the defence ministry said yesterday.
Major General Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of general staff of the People's Liberation Army, said during scheduled talks with US counterparts in Beijing that China was determined to defend its territory, but had all along exercised restraint.
"This issue should not become a problem between China and the United States, and China hopes that the United States does not become a third party in this issue," the ministry quoted Wang as telling the US undersecretary of defence for policy, James Miller.
"The United States should maintain a consistent stance and policy, not send wrong signals nor support and connive with the relevant country to do as they please," Wang said.
He said China hoped the US would handle the issue appropriately to ensure it did not affect mutual strategic trust.
The ministry cited Miller as saying in response that the US did not take a position on the sovereignty issue of the Diaoyu Islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan.
He called for all sides to exercise restraint and supported China to use diplomatic means to resolve the matter.
Wang said military relations were a "weak link" in Sino-US mutual strategic trust, and called on Washington to understand China's goal in an objective manner.
He also urged Washington to respect Beijing's interests in Taiwan.
"China will definitely not make any concession regarding Taiwan," Wang reportedly told Miller.
"The US should, bearing in mind the overall interest of the Sino-US relationship, review its policies towards Taiwan to ensure the stable development of military ties between the two nations under the existing international strategic landscape, and changes in Sino-US ties and cross-straits relations."
Aircraft and ships from Japan and China have played cat-and-mouse in the vicinity of the islands in recent months, raising fears of conflict, perhaps sparked by an accident.
Additional reporting by Teddy Ng