Lyu Xinhua, a spokesman, discussed the Diaoyu Islands, called the Senkaku by the Japanese, at a news conference before the 12th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee meeting, the official government news agency Xinhua reported.
"China is willing to get along peacefully with all countries including Japan, but we have our principles and baselines," Lyu said.
The Diaoyu, a group of five uninhabited islands and three rocks, were annexed by Japan in 1895. In the late 1960s, after oil reserves were found under the seafloor in the area, possession of the islands became controversial.
Taiwan also claims ownership of the islands.