Tokyo: China has regarded the Japanese administered Senkaku Islandsin the East China Sea as its core interest, China`s foreign ministry has announced for the first time.
The Diaoyu Islands are about sovereignty and territorial integrity and is China`s core interest, ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press conference.
According to Japan times, the statement suggests that China does not intend to make any concessions on the islands, which it claims have been its inherent territory since ancient times.
Chunying made the comment after General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, in Tokyo said that Chinese officials repeatedly told him during his visit to Beijing earlier in the week that the Senkakus are "one of China`s core interests," the report said.
Japan, which has administered the islands for decades, maintains the Senkakus are an integral part of its territory and that there is no territorial dispute over them, it added.