Clinton warns China on island dispute with Japan

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday issued a veiled warning to China over disputed islands, saying the United States (US) opposed any challenge to Japan's rule over disputed islands.

Mrs Clinton called for a peaceful settlement on the disputed islands - known as the Senkaku in Japanese and the Diaoyu in Chinese - but made clear that they fell under the US security treaty with Japan.

"We oppose any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration and we urge all parties to take steps to prevent incidents and manage disagreements through peaceful means," Mrs Clinton said.

Mrs Clinton, meeting with Japan's new Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, reiterated the US stance that Tokyo holds de facto control over the islands but that Washington does not take a position on their ultimate sovereignty.