World Bulletin/News Desk
China's Foreign Ministry said it would continue to take "necessary measures" to safeguard its sovereignty over a number of disputed islands in the East China Sea after Japan said it was considering a plan to "buy" them from private landowners.
The uninhabited islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, have long been the centre of maritime territorial disputes between China and its neighbours, all of which cite historical and other claims over fishing areas and potentially rich gas deposits.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said on Saturday that the government was considering buying the islands, situated in potentially gas rich territory claimed by both Japan and China, in a move likely to anger Beijing.
"No one will ever be permitted to buy and sell China's sacred territory," Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said in a statement issued late on Saturday on the ministry's website, www.mfa.gov.cn.
"China will continue to take necessary measures to firmly uphold its sovereignty over the Diaoyu island and its affiliated islands,"
Liu reiterated the islands had been part of Chinese territory since ancient times and China's sovereignty over them was grounded in an indisputable historical and legal basis.
Earlier this year, Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara proposed using public funds to buy the islands from private owners, prompting Beijing to denounce the plan as illegal and reassert its sovereignty.
Diplomatic ties between Beijing and Tokyo hit a low point in 2010 after Japan's arrest of a Chinese fishing boat captain.
In 2008, Beijing and Tokyo agreed in principle to jointly develop gas fields near the islands, but progress has been slow and Japan has accused China of drilling for gas in violation of the deal.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is in London for medical check-up, will undergo an open-heart surgery on Tuesday, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said in Islamabad on Friday.
Pyongyang accuses Seoul of raising tensions after South Korea's warning shots along western maritime border a day earlier
Malaysia has accepted a second batch from Beirut with 18 families adding to three other families that arrived in December.
In a closing statement that urgent and long-term action responding to needs of those hosting must be undertaken
The Russian authorities undertake unprecedented measures on reinforcement on the Kuril islands
Barack Obama on Friday paid moving tribute to victims of the world's first nuclear attack by the US with his visit causing ripples across a region that is turmoil
Men detained in April become first suspects to be charged under Singapore laws against financing extremism
Police say speedboat off resort island of Koh Samui was carrying 32 tourists, 4 crew when it hit a ‘rogue’ wave
Tensions flare around inter-Korean maritime border as Seoul stands firm on rejection of dialogue with Pyongyang
Incoming president offered party members posts in new government if leaders return from exile and sit down for peace talks
The floods-hit country is hoping for foreign assistance mostly in the form of grants and loans, but also calls for overseas expertise in urban planning to prevent such disasters
Hour-long clashes in Sulu follow Monday's release of video by ISIL-affiliated group showing foreign hostages pleading for lives
A suicide attack on a bus carrying staff from an appeal court killed 10 people and wounded four on Wednesday west of the Afghan capital, Kabul, an interior ministry spokesman said.
'Haibatullah Akhundzada has been appointed as the new leader of the Taliban after a unanimous agreement in the shura supreme council,' a statement says
SKorean authorities deported 8 Indonesian migrant workers in last month after becoming alarmed over social media activities
Police say they've killed the operations head of a major militant group in the Indian portion of Kashmir in an overnight gunbattle.