21:29 GMT +3 hours26 November 2014
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China Threatens Force if Japan Challenges Sovereignty

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Beijing vows to make no concessions on its territorial sovereignty and threatens to use force, against Japan among other countries, in response to any challenge to its territorial integrity, Xinhua news agency said citing a senior diplomat.

Beijing vows to make no concessions on its territorial sovereignty and threatens to use force, against Japan among other countries, in response to any challenge to its territorial integrity, Xinhua news agency said citing a senior diplomat.

“We want to live in friendship with all countries including Japan, but we have to uphold our principles and bottom line,” Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun was quoted as saying at a news conference.

Earlier in the month, Tokyo lodged an official protest with Beijing after Chinese surveillance ships entered the territorial waters of disputed islands in the East China Sea.

“However, should anyone want to challenge China's bottom line on the issue of sovereignty, China will have no alternative but to respond forcefully so as to remove disturbance and obstacles and move steadily on the path of peaceful development,” the high-ranking Chinese diplomat added.

The relations between Japan and China have recently plummeted to their worst level in years over a chain of islands claimed by both countries.

The islands, known as the Senkaku to Japan and Diaoyu to China, have been at the center of a dispute recently that has triggered violent anti-Japanese protests across China and caused Japanese companies to suspend operations in China.

The tensions escalated in August after Japan formally announced its decision to buy three of the five disputed islands from the Kurihara family for 2.05 billion yen ($26.1 million).

Japan claims it has occupied the islands since 1895, while China maintains the islands were recognized as Chinese as early as 1783.