China on Friday said Japan was recklessly lying about the incident in which a Chinese warship was accused of locking fire-control radars on Japanese ships in the East China last week.
The Chinese ministry of national defence issued a terse statement and the foreign ministry used strong words in denying the incident, calling it a “fabrication.”
The tough talk comes a day after Beijing said it would look into Tokyo’s allegation that a Chinese warship had radar-locked a Japanese vessel, a step usually taken before missiles are launched.
The two countries have been locked in dispute over the ownership of the uninhabited Diayou islands (Senkaku in Japanese) in the East China Sea.
Tensions have escalated since the middle of last year and both sides accuse each other of making provoking statements and moves like the movement of ships and aircraft near the islands.
“Recently, Japan has repeatedly spread false accusations that have distorted facts and defamed Chinese military's normal combat readiness training,” the statement issued by the defence ministry said Friday.
The ministry said the root cause of maritime safety issues between China and Japan was that Japanese warships and airplanes have often conducted long and close-in monitoring and surveillance over China's naval ships and airplanes in recent years.
“At around 9 am on January 30, a Chinese naval ship found itself closely followed and monitored by JSDF (Japanese Self-Defence Force) destroyer Yudachi while conducting routine training in relevant waters in the East China Sea; ship-borne radars of the Chinese naval ship kept normal observation and were on alert, and fire-control radar was not used,” said the statement.
“The Japanese side's remarks are against the facts,” it said.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying called Japan's allegations "a sheer fabrication out of nothing."
Hua, was quoted by state-run Xinhua as having said that China has always been restrained, taken a responsible attitude and is committed to addressing the relevant issue through dialogue and consultation, while taking necessary measures to safeguard the country's territory and sovereignty, since the Japanese side triggered the disputes over the Diaoyu Islands last year.