China calls for Japan 'dialogue' over disputed islands
BEIJING (AFP) - China has called on Japan to pursue "dialogue and negotiation" to resolve the two countries' escalating territorial dispute over islands in the East China Sea claimed by both.
"China demands Japan stop actions that undermine China's territorial sovereignty, return to the the right track in which problems are solved through dialogue and negotiation," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang late on Friday.
In a statement, Mr Qin reiterated Beijing's position that Japan's detention of Chinese citizens and their boat was a "serious infringement on China's territorial sovereignty".
Japan, which controls the disputed islands, on Friday deported a group of pro-China activists who had sailed to one of them, as Tokyo moved swiftly to put an end to a potentially damaging row with Beijing.