RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif., June 8 U.S. President
Barack Obama urged his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to
"de-escalate" a contentious territorial dispute with Japan and
deal with the matter through diplomatic channels, Obama's
national security adviser said on Saturday.
Obama told Xi "the parties should seek to de-escalate, not
escalate, and the parties should seek to have conversations
about this through diplomatic channels, and not through actions
out on the East China Sea," Thomas Donilon told reporters after
a two-day informal summit in California.
A maritime territory dispute over islets in the East China
Sea has escalated to the point where China and Japan scramble
fighter jets and patrol ships shadow each other. The United
States, a formal security ally of Japan, says it is neutral
about sovereignty over the islets, but opposes use of force or
unilateral efforts to change the status quo.
(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Eric Walsh)