China says islands not for sale
China has rebuffed Japan for suggesting that disputed islands in the East China Sea could be bought.
“No one will ever be permitted to buy and sell China’s sacred territory,” spokesman Liu Weimin said in a statement issued late Saturday on the foreign ministry’s website.
The statement came in response to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda saying on Saturday that his government was considering buying the Senkaku islands, known as Diaoyu in China.
The seabed near the uninhabited islands is thought to be rich in natural gas. China, Japan, Taiwan and other neighboring countries all claim the area.
The islands have been China’s inherent territory “since ancient times,” the ministry statement said.
“China has indisputable sovereignty over them. China will continue to take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty.”