US warns China about laying claim to Japan owned Senkaku Islands

Tokyo, Jan 20: The United States has warned China about staking claim to the Japan owned Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, saying that it will oppose any unilateral action in this regard.

The warning came in light of the continued violation of Japan’s airspace and waters around the uninhabited islets by Chinese planes and ships.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a meeting with Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, said Washington is obligated to defend the Senkaku islet group if it comes under attack under the bilateral security treaty between the US and Japan, the Japan Times reports.

Clinton added that the US has acknowledged Japan’s legal ownership of the Senkakus, although U.S. does not take a position on the ultimate sovereignty of the islands. Clinton also urged Tokyo and Beijing to resolve the dispute peacefully.

Japan purchased three of the main Senkaku islets in 2011, whose sovereignty is contested by both China and Taiwan.

Insisting that the Senkakus are an integral part of Japan’s territory, Kishida said his government would not compromise on its long-standing position that no dispute exists over their sovereignty.

Kishida, however, hoped for reduced tensions and increased stability between China and Japan, after Clinton’s statement. (ANI)