China sent two ships to patrol the waters surrounding a contested island group on Tuesday in a show of strength to Japan, reported The Washington Post, citing Chinese state media reports. The move was aimed at countering Japan’s impending purchase of the potentially resource rich Diaoyu Islands, known to Japan as the Senkaku Islands, from a Japanese owner for US$26.2 million. Japan sent its own patrol vessel to the waters in response, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper said. Japanese moves to strengthen its claim over the islands have incensed China and could lead to armed conflict, security experts warn. “We are watching closely the evolution of the situation and reserve the right to take reciprocal measures,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng commented to Chinese state run Xinhua News Agency.