Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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China Criticizes Japan's Move to Seek US Aid for East China Sea Dispute

President Trump Holds Joint Press Conference With Japanese PM Shinzo Abe

(Photo : Getty Images) U.S. President Donald Trump and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe walk together to their joint press conference in the East Room at the White House on February 10, 2017 in Washington, DC.

China warned Japan on Monday to refrain from seeking US support for the disputed islands in the East China Sea under the mutual defense treaty. The remark came after Tokyo got continued US backing during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's meeting with US President Donald Trump over the weekend.

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"China is gravely concerned about and firmly opposed to relevant comments by Japan and the US. Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands are China's inherent territory," Geng Shuang, Foreign Ministry's spokesperson, said.

After Abe and Trump's meeting in the US, both parties released a joint statement affirming that the islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, are covered under Article 5 of the US-Japan Security treaty, Reuters reported. "[Both nations] oppose any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan's administration of these islands."

Moreover, Trump committed to boost security ties and assured that US forces will continue to defend the Senkaku Islands, according to Deccan Herald citing Japanese media.

Voicing strong reservations  over US' move, Geng said "No matter what anyone says or does, it cannot change the fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China, and cannot shake China's resolve and determination to protect national sovereignty and territory."

He further advised US and Japan to exercise prudence and refrain from releasing wrong remarks to prevent the issue from escalating and to preserve peace and stability.

This is not the first time US extended its support to Japan. During Barack Obama's administration, China also criticized Japan for backing its claims over the disputed islands.

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