China has submitted to the United Nations a maritime chart asserting its claim over a cluster of disputed islands in the East China Sea, which Japan has purchased from a private owner last week.
This was disclosed by Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Le Yucheng while addressing a symposium on the disputed islands they call Diaoyu Dao.
He said Ambassador Li Baodong, China's Permanent Representative to the U.N., "deposited the coordinates table and chart of the base points and baselines of the territorial sea of China's Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday morning."
Announcement of base points and baselines of the territorial sea is the basis of establishing waters under national jurisdiction, on the basis of which the territorial sea, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf can be established according to the provisions of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
"This has given us a clearer legal basis to safeguard China's sovereignty over Diaoyu Dao and China's sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the waters around the islands," he told the symposium, organized by China Institute of International Studies, Beijing Youth Federation and Xinhuanet, in Diaoyutai.
Also on Friday, a flotilla of Chinese maritime surveillance vessels arrived in the disputed waters, which Beijing says, "on a law enforcement patrol mission to uphold China's rights." The Chinese Minister termed it as "another strong measure that we take to safeguard our territorial sovereignty."
In addition, China has announced that it will carry out routine surveillance and survey on Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands, and China Central Television (CCTV) has started to broadcast meteorological and maritime environment forecast of the region.
The major counter-measures adopted over the past few days have "dealt a blow to Japan's blatant attempt to violate China's territorial sovereignty," he said, and warned that the Chinese government "will continue to react with robust counter-measures in light of the developments of the situation to safeguard China's territorial sovereignty."
"We should note that our motherland is growing more prosperous and stronger by the day. China's international status is rising fast. Gone are the days when the Chinese nation was bullied by others at will," he said in a strongly worded speech.
Le "seriously" reminded the Japanese side that "the responsibility for the current state of China-Japan relations rests fully with the Japanese side and the ball is in its court as to where our relations are heading in the future."
He tried to substantiate Beijing's claim by saying that the region in question was "first discovered, named and exploited by the Chinese people," and that Japan seized it on the first Sino-Japanese war (1894-1895), but was returned to China after World War II according to the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation.
He attributed Japan's "purchase of the islands" to "the changing political climate in Japan." There is a sinister tendency inside Japan that is taking Japan and China-Japan relations down an extremely dangerous road, he added.
Le has made it clear that "China will in no way recognize Japan's illegal occupation of and the so-called 'actual control' over Diaoyu Dao," and will not tolerate any unilateral Japanese action on the islands.
On Friday, six Chinese surveillance ships out of an eight-strong flotilla "illegally" entered in what Japan claims its territorial waters around the disputed islands it calls Senkaku, exacerbating tension between Tokyo and Beijing over its ownership.
All the Chinese vessels that entered the waters around the uninhabited but resource-rich islands have reportedly left the area later.
by RTT Staff Writer
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