BEIJING, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- China on Sunday said its exploration of the Tianwaitian gas field in the East China Sea was an exercise of its inherent sovereign rights.
"The Tianwaitian oil and gas field is under the administration of China's undisputed territorial water," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.
The Sankei daily newspaper in Japan reported that China violated an agreement and developed the gas field unilaterally.
Under a China-Japan consensus in principle on the East China Sea issue, reached in June, the two sides will, through joint exploration, select by mutual agreement areas for joint development in the block mentioned by the consensus under the principle of mutual benefit.
The two sides agreed to continue discussions for the early realization of joint development in other parts of the East China Sea.
The Sankei report claimed that China's unilateral development of the Tianwaitian gas field violated the June consensus. Qin said the Sankei report distorted the consensus.
The consultations will continue for the early realization of joint development in "other parts of the East China Sea," not in China's undisputed territorial water, he noted.
There is no basis for raising the issue of joint development in such areas, he noted.