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China summons Japan envoy over air zone protests

China summoned the Japanese ambassador over Tokyo's response to Beijing's new "air defence identification zone" which covers islands claimed by both sides, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

world Updated: Nov 25, 2013 15:58 IST

China summoned the Japanese ambassador over Tokyo's response to Beijing's new "air defence identification zone" which covers islands claimed by both sides, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

"Officials of the Chinese foreign ministry have summoned the Japanese ambassador to China to express China's strong dissatisfaction and solemn protest regarding Japan's unreasonable hype over China's establishing an air defence identification zone," spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular press briefing.

"It is completely unreasonable for Japan to make irresponsible remarks about China's establishing (of) an air defence identification zone."

China set up the air defence identification zone (ADIZ) on Saturday in an area that includes disputed East China Sea islands controlled by Tokyo, in a move designed to guard against "potential air threats", Chinese defence officials said.

Japan's foreign minister Fumio Kishida said on Sunday his country could not accept the move, calling it "a one-sided action which leads us to assume the danger of unpredictable events on the spot".

Tensions between the two longtime rivals -- and major trading partners -- have escalated over the past year, raising concerns of unintended conflict.