China says patrols near Diaoyu Islands "lawful" Friday, March 16, 2012

A Foreign Ministry spokesman defended recent naval activity by China on Friday, describing the activities of patrol boats located near the Diaoyu Islands as "lawful."

"Our law enforcement vessels patrolled waters close to the Diaoyu Islands to maintain normal order and safeguard China's maritime rights and interests," spokesman Liu Weimin said during a routine press conference.

Liu reiterated that the Diaoyu Islands and its adjacent islets are part of China's territory.

The State Oceanic Administration issued a statement Friday saying that two of its surveillance ships, the Haijian 50 and Haijian 66, arrived in the area early Friday morning to begin regular patrols.

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Editor: Anne Tang
Source: Xinhua