BEIJING  - China criticised Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s “obstinate persistence” on Thursday after he insisted there could be no compromise with Beijing on the ownership of disputed islands.“China is extremely dissatisfied with and sternly opposes the Japanese leader’s obstinate persistence in his incorrect views regarding the Diaoyu islands,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement.Noda said on Wednesday that a disputed archipelago in the East China Sea that China knows as the Diaoyu islands and Japan calls the Senkaku, is “an integral part” of Japanese territory “in the light of history and of international law”.“It is very clear and there are no territorial issues as such. Therefore there cannot be any compromise that could mean any setback from this basic position. I have to make that very clear,” Noda told reporters at the UN General Assembly.China has made much the same statements in defending its own claim to the islands.China and Japan are locked in an escalating confrontation over the islands that triggered street protests across China and saw attacks on Japanese businesses doing business in China.Relations between the countries plummeted to their lowest ebb in years after Tokyo announced on September 11 that it had completed a deal to buy three of the uninhabited outcrops from their private owner.China said Wednesday that Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told his counterpart Koichiro Gemba at the United Nations that Japan was guilty of “severely infringing” its sovereignty by purchasing the disputed islands.Meanwhile Thursday, China’s top political advisor Jia Qinglin called on Japan to “correct its mistake” over the islands row so that the two countries could focus once more on development, according to state media.Speaking to a group of Japanese delegates including current and former lawmakers in Beijing, Jia said he hoped “Japanese people from all walks of life will... overcome current difficulties and work with the Chinese side to put the ties back on a track of sound development,” Xinhua news agency reported.

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Clinton meets Chinese FMNEW YORK (AFP) - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Thursday amid simmering tensions between China and Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea.The United States has insisted that Beijing and Tokyo should resolve the dispute peacefully. Clinton and Yang met in a New York hotel on the sidelines of the General Assembly and exchanged greetings at the top of their meeting, with the US top diplomat saying she was “delighted to have this time” to meet her Chinese counterpart.She joked that “everyone needs a vacation” after the whirlwind of diplomatic meetings organised around the UN General Assembly.“But this year has been especially busy with all the things going on,” she said.