China has published an expensive, two-page color advertisement in a prominent U.S. newspaper, defending its claim to disputed islands in the East China Sea.
The ad in The New York Times Friday says China has "indisputable sovereignty" over the Diaoyu islands. The tiny islands and rock formations are at the center of an ongoing dispute between China and Japan, where they are known as the Senkaku Islands.
The dispute has overshadowed the 40th anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The Chinese ad says the earliest "historical reference" to the Diaoyu Islands can be found in the book Voyage with a Tail Wind, published in China in 1403.
Tensions escalated earlier this month when the islands were sold to the Japanese government by a Japanese businessman. China says the sale was not legal.
Demonstrations have erupted across China, and violence has prompted Canon, Panasonic and other Japanese industry giants to shutter their Chinese factories.