UNITED NATIONS The islands at the center of a territorial dispute between Japan and China were seized from the Chinese in 1895 and the Japanese government's recent purchase of them is "illegal and invalid," Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said on Thursday.
"The moves taken by Japan are totally illegal and invalid. They can in no way change the historical fact that Japan stole the Diaoyudao and affiliated islands and that China has sovereignty over them," Yang told the United Nations General Assembly, using the Chinese name for what Japan calls the Senkakus.
Yang urged Tokyo to resolve the issue through negotiations.
(Reporting By Paul Eckert; Editing by Stacey Joyce)