China criticized Japan on Monday for repeatedly making provocative remarks and accused Japan of breaking the status quo on the Diaoyu Islands, in response to Japanese leader Shinzo Abe's claims to the same effect.
Abe told troops on Sunday that Japan would not "tolerate the use of force to change the region's status quo" and called for surveillance and intelligence activities in this regard.
"Japanese leaders' provocative comments concerning China demonstrate these politicians' lying techniques and their unscrupulous and guilty conscience," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily news briefing.
She reaffirmed China's Diaoyu Islands stance, which is that they are an inherent part of Chinese territory though they were covertly included in Japanese territories by Japan in 1895 after the first Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895).
"China and Japan agreed to seek a resolution on the Islands issue in the future when diplomatic relations normalized in 1972. The important consensus is a major foundation for the growth of bilateral ties," Hua said.
She voiced China's opposition to Japan's illegal and invalid unilateral move on the Diaoyu Islands.
"It is no one else but Japan itself that is breaking the status quo on the Diaoyu Islands," the spokeswoman said, urging the country to reflect on its deeds, show sincerity and take real actions so as to properly manage and resolve the problems with China.
She reiterated China's determination to follow a path for peaceful development and maintain a peaceful and stable neighborhood. China is committed to resolving territorial disputes through dialogue and consultation while preserving national territorial sovereignty and maritime rights, according to Hua.
Chinese military planes' training over the East China Sea is in line with international laws and practices. It is no cause for concern, she added.
Hua's comments sounded a similar note to those of Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng, who said on Saturday that Japan's plan to shoot down drones that allegedly infringe into its airspace would be a severe provocation to China and an act of war. He warned that China will take resolute measures to strike back.