Beijing: More than 50 scholars from China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan met in Shanghai Wednesday to defend China`s sovereignty over the disputed Diaoyu Islands with historical and legal evidence, News Agencies reported.
The seminar was organised by the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, Fangxia Cultural Exchange Association and the National Society of Taiwan Studies.
It came a day after the Chinese government issued a white paper asserting the country`s indisputable sovereignty over the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets.
China referred to the islands in the document as "the inherent territory" of the country.
The scholars Wednesday discussed historical and legal evidence for sovereignty over the islands, the impact of Japan`s "purchase" of parts of them and methods for the Chinese people to protect their country`s right to the territory.
Trends in the dispute and its impact on China-Japan relations were also discussed.
"The islands are part of China`s inherent territory. They are precious heritage from the forefathers of all the Chinese people," Xu Dunxin, former Chinese ambassador to Japan, was quoted as saying.
He said Japan`s "purchase" has greatly hurt Chinese people`s feelings.
Zheng Hailin, a researcher with the Chinese University of Hong Kong`s Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, said the islands were first discovered, named and exploited by the Chinese.
Zheng said his latest study found that in maps published by Britain, the US and France after 1774, the English naming of the Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islets was phonetically based on local dialects of east China`s Fujian province.
The scholars urged the Japanese government to refrain from infringing on China`s sovereignty and called on it to take corrective action to avoid jeopardizing bilateral relations.