Outgoing US envoy Gary Locke tells China, Japan to lower tensions in territorial dispute
BEIJING (REUTERS) - China and Japan must ease tensions in the disputed East China Sea to avoid severe "unintended consequences", US Ambassador to China Gary Locke said on Thursday, days before he steps down as Washington's envoy in Beijing.
"The last thing we need is some unintended incident that leads to unintended consequences, very severe consequences," Mr Locke told reporters.
"It's important that both sides lower the temperature and focus on diplomacy," he said, adding that the United States takes no sides in the territorial dispute that flared in 2012 over a group of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea.
Sino-Japanese ties have been plagued by China's bitter memories of Japan's occupation of parts of the country before and during World War Two.