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Iran Press TV

China plans to survey disputed isles: Chinese officials

Iran Press TV

Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:40PM GMT

China is set to carry out a survey of the disputed isles claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing, Chinese officials say.

According to China’s mapping agency Vice Director Li Pengde on Tuesday, Beijing planned to land a survey team on the disputed islands - known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China - based on certain geological features.

“My hope is that we can get under way under conditions where the situation is relatively good and the survey team's physical safety can be assured,” Li added in an interview with state broadcaster CCTV.

Following the remarks made by Li, Japan's Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Beijing “has no reason to conduct a land survey because the islands are undoubtedly Japanese territory.”

Tokyo and Beijing have long been at loggerheads over the sovereignty of the islands, which would give the owner exclusive oil, mineral and fishing rights in the surrounding waters. The islands are controlled by Japan and form part of Okinawa prefecture.

China’s National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation announced on January 15, 2013 that China is set to carry out a detailed survey on the disputed isles “to safeguard its maritime rights and interests” and to map the country’s “territorial islands and reefs.”

China presented the United Nations with a detailed explanation of its sovereignty over the disputed islands based on certain geological features in December 2012.

Tensions heightened between the two countries after Japan signed a deal on September 11, 2012 to buy three of the islands from their private Japanese owner in line with plans to nationalize the archipelago. Hundreds of Chinese held several anti-Japan demonstrations following the Japanese move.

MAM/JR/SL



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