BEIJING, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- China said Monday that the proposed name change of the Diaoyu Islands by a Japanese mayor would not change the fact that they belong to China.
Ishigaki Mayor Yoshitaka Nakayama plans to submit a proposal to the city assembly Monday to change the islands' name from "Tonoshiro, Ishigaki City" to "Tonoshiro Senkaku, Ishigaki City," according to Japanese media.
"The Diaoyu Island and its adjacent islets have always been an inherent part of Chinese territory, and China has unshakable will to protect its own sovereignty," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a regular news briefing. "Whatever tricks Japan plays, it will not change the fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China."
He urged the Japanese side to "face up to history and reality, stop stirring up trouble on the issue and avoid harming the improvement of bilateral ties."