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BEIJING - The State Oceanic Administration (SOA) on Wednesday said a Japanese media report regarding a Chinese marine surveillance ship that aimed at a Japanese fishing boat with machine-gun near the Diaoyu Islands is a "groundless rumor."
The report was intended to be sensational and is not true, the SOA said.
The Wednesday edition of Post, a Japanese weekly, stated that Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian 66 aimed at a Japanese fishing boat with machine-gun, as well as told the boat's crew that the ship would sink after being shot at, on February 18.
The SOA said China's marine surveillance ships represent an administrative law enforcement team under the organization's jurisdiction and that they have carried out law enforcement and safeguarded China's due rights through administrative means, as well as abided by relevant international and domestic laws.
The marine surveillance fleet was conducting regular patrols after detecting the intrusion of a Japanese fishing boat in waters surrounding the Diaoyu Islands, according to the SOA.
The fleet was not armed with any heavy weaponry including machine-gun and the action it took against the Japanese vessel was legal and justified, the SOA said.
The SOA said some Japanese politicians and media have vilified China's marine surveillance activity, adding that such actions will jeopardize bilateral relations and will not help to solve the issue.