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History of Diaoyu Islands

Updated: 2012-07-10 11:24

BEIJING - The Diaoyu Islands, which lie in the East China Sea between China and Japan have belonged to China since ancient times.

The islands are 120 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan province, 200 nautical miles west of the Chinese mainland and 200 nautical miles east of Japan's southernmost island, Okinawa.

Geologically, the islands are attached to Taiwan. The waters around the islands are 100 to 150 meters deep and there is a 2,000-meter-deep oceanic trench between the islets and Okinawa islands.

The islands have appeared on maps of China since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Fishermen from Taiwan and Fujian and other provinces have fished and collected herbs in this area for many generations.

Records about the islands were published in a book during the rule of Ming emperor Yong Le (1403-1424), more than 400 years before Japan says it discovered the Diaoyu islands in 1884.

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