China releases official names of disputed islands
March 4, 2012, 12:01 am TWN
BEIJING -- China has released standard names and descriptions of Diaoyu Island and its affiliated isles (known as the Tiaoyutais in Taiwan), according to sources with the State Oceanic Administration.
Diaoyu Island is named as "Diaoyu Island," with its Chinese pronunciation reading "Diao yu Dao." It is described as an island "about 356 kilometers from the city of Wenzhou, 385 kilometers from the city of Fuzhou and 190 kilometers from the city of Keelung."
The country has also released names of Diaoyu's 70 affiliated islands, the names in pinyin and description of locations.
In accordance with Chinese law on island protection, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), the country's maritime authority, gives standard names to China's seas and islands.
Authorized by the State Council, or the Cabinet, the SOA and the Ministry of Civil Affairs published standard names of Diaoyu Island and its affiliated isles on their websites.
China said on Saturday it firmly opposes Japan's naming of the Diaoyu Islands.
The remarks came after Japanese Cabinet released names of 39 uninhabited islands, including some isles affiliated to the Diaoyu Island, on Friday.
"I would like to reiterate that any unilateral action taken by the Japanese side about Diaoyu Island and its affiliated isles is illegal and invalid," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a written statement.
Diaoyu Island and other related isles have been part of inherent Chinese territory since ancient times, and China has indisputable sovereignty over them, Hong said.
"No matter what names Japan has given to the isles affiliated to the Diaoyu Island, it will not change the fact that these islands belong to China," he said.
The spokesperson suggested those who want to know the Diaoyu Islands' standard names should visit websites of China's Ministry of Civil Affairs and the State Oceanic Administration.