Beijing: China on Friday voiced "concern and strong dissatisfaction" over US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton`s remarks that the disputed islands in the East China Sea came within the scope of the US-Japan security treaty, assuring Tokyo of Washington`s military backing.
"The Chinese government and people will never accept any word or deed that includes the Diaoyu Islands (called Senkaku by Japanese) within the scope of the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu.
After her meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara in Hawaii yesterday, Hillary said that Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands over which China and Japan claimed territorial rights, fall within the scope of the US-Japan security treaty.
"The Diaoyu Islands have been an integral part of Chinese territory since ancient times. China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands," Ma said in a statement here.
As a bilateral agreement reached during the Cold War, the US-Japan security treaty should not harm the interests of third parities, including China, he said, asking the US and Japan to do more to boost regional peace and stability.
The uninhabited islands, consisting few huge rocks, became a bone of contention between China and Japan since last month after the detention the skipper of a Chinese fishing trawler by the Japanese Coast Guard off the island.
Tensions continued to flare up even after his release with both countries witnessing resurgent protests claiming the ownership on the islands, believed to have been rich with oil and gas resources.
Ma`s comments came as a top Chinese official, Dai Bingguo is due to have an unscheduled meeting with Hillary in South China`s Hainan province in the next few days to discuss issues of common concern, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Meanwhile, the goodwill meeting between the foreign ministers at Hanoi on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit today ended up in a controversy as China refuted reports that it had agreed to resume negotiation with Japan on the exploration of oil and gas fields in East China Sea.
A spokesman from the Chinese delegation said the report was totally inconsistent with the fact.
In the meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Japanese counterpart Seiji Maehara today, Yang urged the Japanese side to move together with the Chinese side to create sound atmosphere and condition for them to implement the principles on the issue concerning East China Sea, Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Yang and Maehara held a half-hour meeting on the sidelines of a series of summits between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its partners in the Vietnamese capital.