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China Demands Citizens' Return

Japan's detention of seven Chinese citizens who....

Japan's detention of seven Chinese citizens who landed on the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea is being met with fierce opposition by Chinese leaders. A spokesman of the Foreign Ministry demanded the "immediate and unconditional" release of the seven Chinese activists.

The spokesman pointed out the Diaoyu Islands, lying to the northeast of China's Taiwan Island, have been Chinese territory since ancient times and China has indisputable sovereignty over that island and those around it.

He said China strongly protests against Japan's illegal action to block the seven Chinese citizens from landing on the Diaoyu Islands and against its illegal detention of the group.

China and Japan are in dispute over the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands. Japan too claims them as her own.

The spokesperson demanded Japan recognize the seriousness of the situation, and unconditionally release the detained Chinese citizens. Otherwise, he said, this issue could be complicated and intensified to the point of jeopardizing Sino-Japanese relations.