UN to consider validity of China's claim over disputed islands
UNITED NATIONS (REUTERS) - The United Nations is planning to consider later this year the scientific validity of a claim by China that a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea are part of its territory, although Japan says the world body should not be involved.
Tensions over the uninhabited islands - located near rich fishing grounds and potentially huge oil-and-gas reserves - flared after Japan's government purchased them from a private Japanese owner in September, sparking violent anti-Japanese protests across China and a military standoff.
Taiwan also claims the islands, known as the Diaoyu islands in China, the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyutai in Taiwan.
In a submission to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, China claims that the continental shelf in the East China Sea is a natural prolongation of China's land territory and that it includes the disputed islands.