China sees no basis for talks with Japan over islands dispute: Minister

A Japan Coast Guard boat (front) and vessel sail as Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, is pictured in the background, in the East China Sea on Aug 18, 2013. China sees no basis to conduct talks w
A Japan Coast Guard boat (front) and vessel sail as Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, is pictured in the background, in the East China Sea on Aug 18, 2013. China sees no basis to conduct talks with Japan over their dispute about ownership of a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, Chinese deputy foreign minister Li Baodong said on Tuesday. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China sees no basis to conduct talks with Japan over their dispute about ownership of a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, Chinese deputy foreign minister Li Baodong said on Tuesday.

Relations between the world's second- and third-largest economies have been strained for months, largely because of the spat over the islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

But Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is keen to improve relations and has called for dialogue with China, although he has rejected any conditions on talks.