Chinese ships 'near waters of disputed isles'

Japan's coastguard says four vessels have entered territorial waters around disputed islands in East China Sea.

    Chinese ships 'near waters of disputed isles'
    Japan, China, and Taiwan have long disputed an archipelago in the East China Sea [Reuters]

    Four Chinese government ships have entered territorial waters around disputed islands in the East China Sea, the Japanese coastguard said.

    The islands - known as Senkaku in Japan, Diaoyu in China, and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan, are claimed by all three countries.

     No compromise over East China Sea islands

    The four maritime surveillance ships entered the waters shortly after 12:30pm local time (03:30 GMT) on Tuesday, the coastguard said, which told the ships to leave the area.

    "Patrol ships from our agency have been telling them to sail outside of our territorial waters," said the coastguard. However, it added that "there has not been any response" from the Chinese ships.

    The coastguard reported that two other official Chinese official ships were sailing near the island chain, but not in what Japan claimed as its territorial waters.

    It was the first time in about a week that Chinese ships had entered the waters, after a lull in the diplomatic dispute over the islands' sovereignty.

    Despite warnings from Japan's well-equipped coastguard, official Chinese vessels had frequently sailed into the waters until last Monday.

    Koichiro Gemba, Japan's foreign minister, said the Japanese government filed an immediate protest with China over the latest case, telling reporters: "We want the Chinese side to exercise self-restraint."

    The disputed islands are surrounded by rich fishing grounds, and the seabed is believed to contain rich mineral reserves.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.