Stay neutral on Diaoyu Islands, China tells US

Beijing, Sep 18 (IANS) China Wednesday urged the US to "strictly abide by" its commitment to neutrality on the Diaoyu Islands issue.

"We hope the US will abide by its commitment, speak and act cautiously, maintain the regional peace, stability and the overall situation of Sino-US relations with concrete action," China's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

Hong made the remarks in response to comments by US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki on the sovereignty disputes.

Psaki said Tuesday that the US position on the Diaoyu Islands has not changed, and it does not take sides on the sovereignty of these islands.

Last week, in a meeting with Japan's New Komeito party chief Natsuo Yamaguchi, US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns reportedly reaffirmed the US backing for Japan in its dispute with China over the Diaoyu Islands, Japanese news agency Kyodo quoted a lawmaker in Yamaguchi's delegation as saying.

"We have noted the US remarks," said Hong, stressing that the Diaoyu Islands and the adjacent islets are China's inherent territories.

The disputed islands are known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu Islands in China.

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