WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. foreign policy expert said here that he believed the U.S. government's position on the Diaoyu islands is "contradictory."
"Because the only way that the U.S.-Japan defense treaty should apply to those islands is if the United States regards them as Japanese territory," Ted Carpenter, senior fellow for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
"If in fact Washington is neutral about the substance of the dispute, namely, we won't decide whether the islands belong to China or Japan, then clearly the defense treaty should not cover those islands," he said.
"I don't see how the United States gets out of that contradiction," said Carpenter, who is the former vice president for defense and foreign policy studies of the Washington-based think tank.
The United States has said that it does not take a position on the question of the ultimate sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands, while it also stated that the islands fall under the scope of the U.S.-Japan defense treaty.
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