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China on Monday urged Japan not to take “dangerous actions that may complicate” the situation surrounding disputed islands in the East China Sea, after Japanese officials said that under the interpretation of existing laws, the nation’s coast guard could fire on foreign vessels if they forcibly land on the islets.

Reiterating that the Japanese-controlled, Chinese claimed Senkaku Islands — known by Beijing as the Diaoyu — are the country’s “inherent territory,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters that China’s stance remained “unwavering.”

“China’s determination and will to safeguard its territorial sovereignty is unwavering,” adding the nation will continue to patrol near the islets.

His remarks came days after Japanese government officials said that under the interpretation of existing laws, the nation’s coast guard could fire on foreign ships looking to land on the islands.

As China also implemented a new law last month that allows its coast guard to use weapons against foreign ships that Beijing sees as illegally entering its waters, fears are growing that bilateral tensions over the uninhabited islets may escalate further.

Separately on Monday, the Defense Ministry in Beiing also doubled-down on the issue, noting pointedly in a response to reports of an uptick in activities near the Senkakus that it would work to normalize the patrols in the waters near the islets.

“The patrol and law enforcement activities by the Chinese public service vessels within the Chinese territorial waters are legitimate and undisputed, and will continue to be carried out normally,” it said in a statement posted to its website.

“Japan is an important neighbor of China. Japan is expected to focus on the long-term development of the China-Japan relationship, meet each other halfway with China, and strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation to achieve common development and benefit the two countries and their peoples,” it added.

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