Hong Kong: China started an official website dedicated to an islet chain in the East China Sea that’s at the center of a territorial dispute with Japan.

The website, which went online on Tuesday and uses the domain name “Diaoyu" in both Chinese and English, uses a series of ancient books and maps to support its claim that the islets, called Senkaku in Japan, belong to China “from both historical and legal perspective," according to the online statement.

“The Chinese government has an unswerving determination and will to safeguard our national territorial integrity," according to the statement. “We have confidence and ability to defeat Japan’s efforts to crush historical facts and international convention."

China’s latest move to step up its claims on the islets is set to further cloud a relationship that remains fractious even after Chinese President Xi Jinping met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Beijing last month. China’s military is reportedly building a large military base near the disputed waters, while Japan has begun construction of a surveillance center to monitor activity around the islands. Encounters between ships and planes from the two countries have raised the potential for a confrontation.

The books and maps shown on the website, sponsored by the State Oceanic Administration, are dated back to the Ming and Qing dynasties between the 1400s and 1800s.

Some Chinese Internet users voiced frustration over the website, comparing it with the blockage of Google Inc’s Gmail e-mail service on the mainland this week.

“This is silly," an online user said in a posting on China’s social media service Weibo. “All blocked websites are useful while those accessible are slow-witted and dumb." Bloomberg

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