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China determined to safeguard sovereignty: FM spokesman

(Xinhua)

12:43, October 20, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government's determination and will to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity are unswerving, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a Friday press conference.

Hong made the comment when asked if a naval exercise conducted the same day was targeted at Japan and whether it would have an impact on the Diaoyu Islands dispute.

Escalating tensions between China and Japan are entirely the result of Japan's illegal "purchase" of part of the islands and Japan should bear full responsibility for its action, Hong said.

He called on Japan to realize and correct its mistakes and return to negotiations to resolve the Diaoyu Islands dispute.

A Thursday statement from sources in the navy indicated that the Chinese navy would conduct a joint exercise in the East China Sea with the country's fishery administration and marine surveillance agency on Friday.

The exercise, involving a total of 11 vessels and eight aircraft, was aimed at improving coordination between the navy and administrative patrol vessels and sharpening their response to emergencies in order to safeguard China's territorial sovereignty and maritime interests, the statement said.

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