BEIJING -- China on Thursday refuted a report by the Japanese media that Japan proposed to submit the East China Sea issue to the international tribunal, labelling it as "going against reality".
"I should reaffirm that China has a sufficient international law base on the East China Sea issue," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang.
Qin told a regular press conference that China and Japan should resolve the dispute through negotiations in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
At present, both China and Japan have agreed to consider the general situation of the bilateral ties and observe the principle of "putting aside disputes and seeking joint exploration" that would benefit both, he said.
The spokesman said the leaders of the two countries share common ground on resolving the East China Sea issue.
"The problem is complicated and cannot be settled promptly," he said. He called upon the two sides to remain patient and work together to achieve progress.