Four China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels, 2502, 2166, 2101 and 33115, conducted a patrol off the Senkaku Islands (called Diaoyu by PR China) in the East China Sea on Friday, China’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said in a statement.
The Senkaku Islands are a group of uninhabited islands controlled by Japan but also claimed by both the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (Taiwan).
According to Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun, Japan’s 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Naha said it found four CCG vessels in its “territorial waters” near the Senkaku Islands on Friday, adding that it was the second consecutive day that Chinese coast guard vessels appeared in the area. The Japanese authorities warned the Chinese vessels not to enter its territorial waters.
Earlier this month, China expressed opposition to Japan’s defense white paper for 2017, accusing Japan of making irresponsible remarks about China’s marine activities.
In the white paper, Japan claimed that “China has tried to change the status quo in the East China Sea and the South China Sea based on its own assertions, and this has become a common concern of the region and the world at large.” It accused China of frequently encroaching into Japanese waters.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on August 9 that conducting patrol and law-enforcement activities in waters off the Senkaku Islands is China’s inherent right and Japan is in no position to point fingers at those activities.
On the same day, Chinese Defense Ministry Spokesman Wu Qian reaffirmed China’s position that the Senkaku Islands and their adjacent islets are Chinese territories, and that this is backed up by both history and legal proof.
He vowed that China would continue its activities in the disputed waters.
Written with inputs from People’s Daily