Chinese coast guards force Japanese ships away from disputed islands
Chinese coast guards pursue Japanese ships away from Diaoyu islands, which Japan claims ownership of.
Five Japanese ships were reportedly forced out by Chinese coast guards, on Monday, from the waters encircling a cluster of islands in the East China Sea.
On social media, the coast guard agency noted, "Ships of China’s maritime police acted within the law and took necessary measures, making a warning and driving [the ships] away."
Furthermore, China urged Japan to refrain from illegal action near the islands.
The Diaoyu Islands are the subject of expanded territorial claims from China and Japan. China cites Japanese maps from 1783 and 1785 that show the islands as being in Chinese territory, whereas Japan, which calls them Senkaku Islands, argued that its rule over the islands has been in place since 1895. The Diaoyu Islands came under the US administration following World War II before being transferred to Japan in 1972.
Japan is of the opinion that China's claims to sovereignty over the islands stem from the 1970s discovery of lucrative minerals in their shelf waters. When the Japanese government acquired three of the five islands from a private owner in 2012, the territorial issue intensified.
Earlier in July 2022, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, "Diaoyu Dao and its affiliating islands have been part of China’s territory. The activities of Chinese vessels in the adjacent waters are legitimate and lawful. The Japanese side has no right to point fingers over these activities."
It is worth noting that the West and Japan have been trying to get China to condemn Moscow's operation in Ukraine, while Beijing is adamant about maintaining a neutral stance on the matter, while also strengthening economic ties with Russia.
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