London: China has reportedly submitted a detailed explanation of its claims to a disputed area of the East China Sea to the United Nations.
It argues that certain geological features prove its territory extends out to a group of islands near Japan.
“Physiognomy and geological characteristics show that the continental shelf in the East China Sea is the natural prolongation of China`s land territory,” China said in its submission.
“The natural prolongation of the continental shelf of China in the East China Sea extends to the Okinawa Trough, which is an important geographical unit featuring remarkable partition,” Xinhua news agency reports the document as saying.
According to the BBC, a UN commission of geological experts will examine China`s submission, but does not have the authority to resolve conflicting claims.
Beijing and Tokyo have long laid claim to the islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.
Tensions flared up again in September after the Japanese government bought three of the islands from their private Japanese owner, triggering public protests in some Chinese cities.
Since then Chinese ships have been sailing in and out of waters around the islands, prompting warnings from Japan.
There was another diplomatic spat after a Chinese government plane flew near the disputed islands.
Tokyo responded by scrambling fighter jets. Both countries accused the other of violating their air space.