China today summoned American and Japanese ambassadors here separately and lodged protest over a joint statement issued during US President Barack Obama's visit to Tokyo that asserted their bilateral security treaty was applicable to the disputed islands in the East China Sea.
"Leading officials of the Foreign Ministry have summoned the US ambassador and the Japanese ambassador on separate occasions and lodged solemn representations," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement.
Earlier, he told a media briefing that China expressed grave concern over the joint statement and urged Washington and Tokyo to discard their Cold War mindset.
"We urge the United States and Japan to give up the Cold War mindset, earnestly respect the interests and concerns of other countries in the region and refrain from further disturbances to regional peace and stability," Qin said.
"We have grave concerns over some of the contents in the US-Japan joint statement. It will be detrimental to the proper solution of relevant issues and the stability of the region to make indiscreet criticisms or remarks on the affairs of other countries," he said.
The US and Japan issued the statement today after Obama's visit to Japan during which he held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The joint statement said the disputed Diaoyu Islands between Japan and China fall under the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, adding that the US and Japan "share strong concern over" China's recent actions in the East and South China Sea, including the declaration of an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea.
The US-Japan security treaty, an outcome of the Cold War, cannot change the fact that the Diaoyu Islands, which Japan calls Senkakus, are China's inherent territory, he said.
No one can shake the firm will of the Chinese government and people to safeguard China's territory and sovereignty no matter what he says or what he does, Qin said.
He also said the US and Japan have no right to criticise China's ADIZ established in November, as it is a sovereign country's right and in line with international laws.
Qin said China has indisputable sovereign rights over the islands in the South China Sea and the adjacent waters.
"China has full sincerity to peacefully solve differences and disputes via direct dialogue between parties concerned, but we will never allow any infringement of China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he added.
Fundamentally, the fact that the US and Japan use their security treaty to cement bloc politics and undermine a third party's interests is "inappropriate and violates the basic norms guiding international relations," said Qin.
"A gentleman gets along with others, but does not necessarily agree with them, neither does he gang up with others," Qin said, citing Confucius, one of the greatest Chinese philosophers in history.