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China voices discontent with EU-Japan position on Senkaku islands

FILE PHOTO: China's foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian speaks during a news conference in Beijing, China March 18, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Friday that a joint EU-Japan statement that mentioned a territorial dispute between China and Japan was an attempt to smear China and interfere in its internal affairs.

The statement expressed concern over the situation surrounding the disputed East China Sea islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan. China also claims the islands, which it calls Diaoyu.

China lodged stern representations over the statement, which was published on Thursday, Zhao told a news briefing.

(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian in Beijing, writing by Eduardo Baptista; editing by John Stonestreet)