China Accuses Japan of Escalating Tension in East China Sea

Created: 2013-05-02 10:58 EST

Category: China
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China's ambassador to the United States accused Japan on Tuesday (April 30) of increasing tension in the East China Sea. He says Japan is stirring up an already bitter dispute between the two countries over ownership of a group of islands.

Japan said last week it would conduct military drills with the United States in June. The joint exercise will involve the recapture of an isolated island, but no specific details have been given.

The Chinese ambassador reacted strongly, issuing an indirect threat to third party countries that may become involved in the dispute, telling them not to "lift up rocks" for Japan and drop them on their own feet.

The US has kept out of the sovereignty dispute. But under a poste World War II treaty, it recognizes Japan has having administrative rights over the islands.

The US is also committed under a security treaty to defend Japan if there is an attack on Japanese-administered territory.

Japan's government bought the disputed islands from a private Japanese owner last year. The issue has brought Sino-Japan relations to their lowest point since normalization of relations more than 40 years ago.