By Zhao Wei, Sina English
Three Chinese fishery patrol ships, Yuzheng-202, Yuzheng-204 and Yuzheng-35001, approached waters off the the Diaoyu Islands around 2 a.m. Wednesday on a routine mission within China's exclusive economic zone in the East China Sea.
Immediately afterwards, it was reported that Japan lodged a representation to China saying three patrol ships entered its waters.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said at a daily news briefing on Wednesday that Chinese fishery administration vessels entered into the waters under Chinese jurisdiction to conduct official duties in accordance with Chinese law. China does not accept the representation lodged by the Japanese over the issue.
He stressed that the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. The vessels made routine patrols aimed at strengthening fisheries management as the fishing season comes to a close.
In order to safeguard the interests of Chinese oceanic fishing industry and ensure safety of Chinese fishermen, the China Fishery Administration Bureau has included areas surrounding the Diaoyu Islands and affiliated islets in its regular patrol scope since 2010.
The Agriculture Ministry banned fishing in the East China Sea from June 1 to protect stock. The three fishery administration vessels were accordingly conducting routine patrols to beef up fishery management in the East China Sea.
After the Japanese media coverage of Chinese vessels patrolling the Diaoyu Islands, Japan's Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Kenichiro Sasae summoned the Chinese ambassador Cheng Yonghua to lodge protests, claiming what happened is "intolerable". Cheng immediately rebuffed Japan's protests and reiterated China's position on the issue.