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China's parliament: Japan has "no right to criticize" air defense zone

A group of disputed islands, Uotsuri island (top), Minamikojima (bottom) and Kitakojima, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China is se
A group of disputed islands, Uotsuri island (top), Minamikojima (bottom) and Kitakojima, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China is se

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's parliament has declared that Japan has no right to criticize the establishment of a Chinese air defense zone which it said was in accordance with international law, state media reported on Saturday.

Japan, South Korea and their ally the United States have all protested at China's decision last month to declare an air defense identification zone in an area that includes islands at the heart of a territorial dispute between Beijing and Tokyo.

China's National People's Congress firmly opposes the so-called resolution passed by Japan's lower house of parliament, said Xinhua, citing a statement by the congress.

Japanese lawmakers had adopted a resolution protesting China's "reckless and risky measures" and said they would never accept Beijing's "unilateral attempts to change the status quo".

The Chinese parliament's statement also reiterated China's stance that the Diaoyu Islands, or Senkakus as they are known in Japan, are part of Chinese sovereign territory which Japan has tried to encroach upon with its own air defense zone.

The Chinese assembly blamed Japan for the tension over the East China Sea, and called on Japan to stop its "provocative" words and actions in order to repair relations, Xinhua reported.

Earlier in the day visiting Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop played down discord over the air defense zone after meeting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Wang had said on Friday that Australia's position on the issue had damaged bilateral trust.

On Tuesday U.S. Vice President Joe Biden urged Japan and China to find ways to reduce tension, while reiterating his country's concern at Beijing's gambit.

The United States has made clear it will stand by treaty obligations that require it to defend the Japanese-controlled islands, but it is also reluctant to get dragged into any military clash between the Asian rivals.

(Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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