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China won't 'stir up troubles' in Japan dispute: Minister

Published on Apr 8, 2014 2:16 PM
 
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (left) and Chinese Minister of Defense Chang Wanquan gesture to members of the media prior to their meeting at the Chinese Defense Ministry headquarters in Beijing on April 8, 2014. Beijing will not act first to stir up troubles over island disputes with neighbours, China's defence minister said on Tuesday at a meeting with American counterpart Chuck Hagel. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - Beijing will not act first to "stir up troubles" over island disputes with neighbours, China's defence minister said on Tuesday at a meeting with American counterpart Chuck Hagel.

China and Japan are embroiled in a bitter row over disputed islands in the East China Sea controlled by Tokyo, with the tensions raising concerns about the possibility of a clash between the Asian powers.

"We will not take the initiative to stir up troubles," General Chang Wanquan told a joint news conference in Beijing, a day after officers allowed the US Defence Secretary to tour the country's first aircraft carrier, a rare move by the normally secretive People's Liberation Army.

"China has indisputable sovereignty" over the islands in dispute with Japan, Chang said, calling territorial sovereignty a "core issue" on which "we will make no compromise".

 
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