BEIJING - China rebuked US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday for her public backing of Japan's administration over a string of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea which are at the center of a messy dispute between China and Japan.
Clinton, speaking after meeting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, repeated the long-standing US position that Washington acknowledged the islands were under Japan's administration, raising China's ire.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Monday that Clinton's remarks were a distortion of the facts.
"The relevant comments by the US side neglects the facts and confuses right with wrong. China is extremely dissatisfied and resolutely opposed to this," he told a daily news briefing.
"We urge the US side to take a responsible attitude towards dealing with the Diaoyu Islands, be cautious in what they say and do and take concrete steps to maintain regional stability and overall picture of Sino-US ties to gain the trust of the Chinese people."
Tensions over the tiny islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, have flared in recent months, one of several maritime territorial disputes involving China that have worsened as Washington seeks to shift its security focus to Asia.