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U.S. urges China to lower tensions in East China Sea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States urged China on Tuesday to take measures in the East China Sea to ease tensions resulting from its move in a sovereignty dispute over remote islands.

Beijing's decision to declare an air defense zone in the region over the disputed islands has triggered protests from the United States, Japan and South Korea and dominated a diplomatic trip to Asia by Vice President Joe Biden.

The United States does not recognize China's newly declared air defense zone and U.S. military aircraft have been instructed to continue to operate normally in the area.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the China's decision is a provocative attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the East China Sea and urged Beijing not to implement it.

He urged China to work with Japan and South Korea "to establish confidence-building measures, including emergency communications channels, to address the dangers its recent announcement has created and to lower tensions. "

(Reporting by Steve Holland; editing by Jackie Frank)