|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on October 22, 2012. (Photo/ Foreign Ministry of China)|
BEIJING, Oct. 22 (People's Daily Online) -- A U.S. delegation currently visiting Beijing is not entitled to mediate between China and Japan over the Diaoyu Islands dispute, a Foreign Ministry spokesman clarified on Monday.
"The delegation is visiting China at the invitation of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs (CPIFA)," Hong Lei said at a regular news briefing in response to a question on the mission of the group, which includes former U.S. national security adviser Stephen Hadley.
Media reports have claimed Hadley and other former U.S. officials will provide mediation between China and Japan on the two countries' dispute over the Diaoyu Islands.
The CPIFA, founded in December 1949, is an organization devoted to people-to-people diplomacy between China and other countries.
According to the spokesman, the delegation will stay in China from Monday to Wednesday, and "The Chinese side will exchange views with them mainly on China-U.S. relations and other issues of concern to both sides."
"The delegation does not have the so-called function of mediation," he added.
As to the dispute, Hong said it's in the common interests of both the Chinese and the Japanese people to safeguard healthy and stable development of bilateral ties between the two Asian neighbors.
"What is urgent is that the Japanese side should in deed recognize and rectify their wrongdoings, face the facts and come back to the track of resolving the Diaoyu Islands dispute through dialogues and negotiations," said the spokesman.
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