China navy helicopter
Japan accused China aircraft of flying too close to Japanese airplanes Reuters

China has condemned the decision by the Lower House of Japan's Diet, or parliament, to pass a resolution against Chinese aircraft which allegedly flew too close to Japanese airplanes above the East China Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei was quoted by as saying it was highly irresponsible for Japan to use the incident to hype up the "China threat" and defame the country.

Hong said China has already stated its position on the incident, adding that the decision of Japan's Diet will mislead the public and exacerbate tensions between the two countries.

"We urge the Japanese side to respect facts, self-reflect and cease provocations" he said.

The critique aimed at Japan comes a few days after the Chinese Defence Ministry said China has evidence that Japanese warplanes disrupted its military jets' flight routines.

Two Japanese airplanes allegedly intruded into the East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone on 24 May to scout and interfere with Sino-Russian naval drills, the ministry said.

Retired state councillor Tang Jiaxuan urged both China and Japan to "reaffirm their understanding of each other" and "urgently" resolve historical and territorial disputes, South China Morning Post reported.

"It is regrettable that there are fewer people in Japan taking China as an opportunity, but rather spreading noise of a 'China threat' and demonising China," he said. "Whether this is in line with objective conditions and the interests of Japan is worth deep introspection by the Japanese.

"Hyping the threat theory and even saying China is attempting to change the status quo by strength, and intentionally creating tensions is an irresponsible act of playing with fire."

Professor Lian Degui, of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, said "there are more Japanese believing China is a threat, and it will be a serious problem for bilateral ties if Tokyo shifts its strategic perception of China."

Earlier this month a delegation of Japanese lawmakers held meetings with senior officials from the Chinese Communist Party, aimed at containing the rising tensions between the two countries.