China dismissed a US offer to act as a mediator between Beijing and Tokyo over the contested islands in the East China Sea, the Financial Times reported. Ma Zhaoxu, a foreign ministry spokesman, said the US approach was “very wrong,” stressing that it is up to China and Japan to resolve the issue. He also called upon the US to correct statements that the islands – known as the Diaoyu Islands to the Chinese and as the Senkaku Islands to the Japanese – were covered by US defense agreements with Japan. The long-running dispute over the islands flared up in September when a Chinese fishing boat captain was arrested by Japanese coast guards for allegedly ramming one of their vessels. Despite the Chinese statement, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeated her offer to host trilateral talks. She made a similar offer in the summer concerning islands in the South China Sea that are claimed by China and several other countries.