US official urges dialogues over China sea dispute

BEIJING (AP) — A senior U.S. diplomat says Washington hopes quiet diplomatic engagements between Japan and China can help keep peace and stability in the East China Sea, where the two Asian countries have a bitter dispute over the sovereignty of a group of islands.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel said Saturday after a tour of the region that the U.S. wants all sides to exercise restraint and manage the disputes through friendly diplomatic means.

Both Tokyo and Beijing claim the uninhabited islands known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese, and the dispute has soured their diplomatic relationship.

Last week, leaders of the two countries met briefly on the side of the Group of 20 summit in Russia, raising hopes for dialogue.

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