China sends ships to disputed isles for 'law enforcement'
BEIJING (AFP) - Beijing said on Friday two surveillance fleets that entered Japanese waters close to disputed islands in defiance of warnings from Tokyo would conduct "law enforcement" activities.
The fleets arrived days after the Japanese government announced it had completed its planned purchase of the islands in the East China Sea, which it administers and knows as Senkaku, but which China claims as Diaoyu.
"Two Chinese surveillance ship fleets arrived at waters around the Diaoyu Islands and adjacent islands on Sept 14, 2012, to start patrol and law enforcement," China's foreign ministry said in a statement.
"These law enforcement and patrol activities are designed to demonstrate China's jurisdiction over the islands and safeguard its maritime interests." Japan's coast guard said it had issued warnings telling the Chinese ships to leave.