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Japan 'stole' our islands, Chinese minister tells UN

Published on Sep 28, 2012 10:48 AM
Demonstrators believing that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China, protest across the street from the United Nations, during the 67th United Nations General Assembly meeting, September 26, 2012 in New York. -- PHOTO: AFP

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - China took a bitter territorial dispute with Japan to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on Thursday, with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi accusing Tokyo of stealing disputed islands.

The Japanese government's purchase of the East China Sea islands from a private owner has infuriated the Beijing government and sparked violent protests in several Chinese cities.

"China strongly urges Japan to immediately stop all activities that violate China's territorial sovereignty, take concrete actions to correct its mistakes and return to the track of resolving the dispute through negotiation," Mr Yang told the UN assembly.

China has demanded the return of the islands, known as the Diaoyu in Chinese and the Senkaku in Japanese, for decades. Mr Yang reaffirmed his country's historical claim that Japan tricked his country into signing a treaty ceding the islands in 1895.

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