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China rebuffs American’s claim on Senkaku Islands

Date Posted: 2009-07-23

China has dismissed a remark by U.S. lawmaker James Webb that the Senkaku Islands rightfully belong to Japan.

Webb, a former Navy secretary now a senator chairing the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, made the remark at a Senate hearing that the United States recognizes Japan’s sovereignty over the disputed islands in the East China Sea. Xinhua News Agency quickly responded with a confirmation from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang that Beijing has “indisputable sovereignty” over the islands.

Japan has held administrative control of the islands since the U.S. have Okinawa back in 1972. China calls the islands Diaoyu. Webb, a Democrat who’s backed President Barack Obama and holds the key position on the Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations, said Japan has controlled the islands since World War II, and that the U.S. recognizes Japan’s claim to the Senkakus.

China contends the islands historically have belonged to China, and has rejected the Japanese Prime Minister’s statements last February that the islands fall under the Japan-U.S. Security Alliance and are Japanese territory. Prime Minister Taro Aso maintains the island are under the security treaty, which says the two countries will join forces and work together if there’s any military attack on territories belonging to, or under administration of, Japan.

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