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When Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping called Tokyo's territorial claims on a group of East China Seas island "a farce," he echoed national sentiment of protesters who took to the streets in anti-Japan protests in recent weeks.

"Japan should rein in its behavior, not utter any words and prevent any acts that undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," said Xi -- who is expected to become China's new president next month -- at a Wednesday meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, state media reported.

As Beijing's presumptive new leader wades into the Japan-China dispute, analysts say the stakes are being raised...

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