The bitter territorial row surrounding the claim to the Senkaku Islands, otherwise known as Diaoyu Islands to the Chinese, is set to become stormier, as Beijing demonstrates that it is becoming increasingly irritated with the U.S.' stance on the Sino-Japanese dispute surrounding the potentially gas-rich waters.
Speaking through its foreign ministry spokesperson, Qin Gang, Beijing said Sunday that it is "strongly dissatisfied" with comments made by Hillary Clinton, the U.S.' Secretary of State on Jan.18.
Clinton spoke about the Senkaku Islands dispute in an address after her meeting with Japan's foreign minister, Fumio Kishisa.
"With regard to regional security, I reiterated longstanding American policy on the Senkaku Islands and our treaty obligations. As I’ve said many times before, although the United States does not take a position on the ultimate sovereignty of the islands, we acknowledge they are under the administration of Japan and we oppose any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration and we urge all parties to take steps to prevent incidents and manage disagreements through peaceful means," Clinton said.
Commenting on the U.S.' views expressed through Clinton, Gang said: "[Remarks made] by the U.S. disregard [historical] facts … and the Chinese side expresses its strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition."
"We urge the U.S. to take a responsible attitude towards the Diaoyu Islands issue … take concrete actions to safeguard regional peace and stability and the overall state of Sino-US relations," Gang added.
American and Japanese fighter jets on Jan.15, carried out joint air exercises near the disputed East China Sea, days after Chinese and Japanese military planes shadowed each other in the same region. The exercise, which lasted five days, involved six U.S. FA-18 fighters and around 90 American personnel, along with four Japanese F-4 jets and an undisclosed number of Japanese people.
Last week, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said that China will carry out a geographical survey of the islands, and reported that Chinese armed forces patrolling the region have been instructed to raise their fighting ability this year with the objective of being able to fight and win a battle.