Beijing says US, Japan 'smeared and attacked' China at summit

Agence France-Presse
Beijing says US, Japan 'smeared and attacked' China at summit
US President Joe Biden (L) and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida raise their glasses to toast during a State Dinner in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, April 10, 2024.
AFP / Mandel Ngan

BEIJING, China — Beijing on Thursday said the United States and Japan had "smeared and attacked" China during a Washington summit, where US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida unveiled their countries' biggest-ever upgrade in defense ties.

Biden and Kishida unveiled plans on Wednesday to restructure the US military command in Japan, the biggest such change since the 1960s.

The move is aimed at making US and Japanese forces more nimble in the event of threats, such as a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

The US president insisted that the military upgrade in China's backyard was "purely defensive" but has made no bones about his desire to create alliances to counter Beijing.

In response to a question on Kishida's visit and the upgrade in ties, foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said the United States and Japan had "smeared and attacked China on Taiwan and maritime issues, grossly interfered in China's internal affairs, and seriously violated the basic norms governing international relations".

Mao said that China was "strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to this and has lodged solemn representations with relevant parties".

"The US-Japan relationship should not target or harm other countries' interests, and should not undermine regional peace and stability," she said.

In Washington, Kishida hailed the Japan-US alliance as crucial for upholding peace and democracy in the region, where China has been increasingly assertive and called for "peace and stability" across the Taiwan Strait.

Mao insisted the "Taiwan issue is purely China's internal affair", adding: "We won't allow any interference from any external force."

South China Sea

Later on Thursday Biden will host the first trilateral summit between Japan, the Philippines and the United States, to support Manila amid tensions with China in the disputed South China Sea.

The three countries over the weekend conducted joint naval and air drills with the Philippines in the South China Sea as they deepen ties to counter China's growing assertiveness.

China, in turn, conducted its own military "combat patrols" on Sunday.

Mao said China's activities in the East and South China Seas "are in full compliance with international law and beyond reproach".

"China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands and their adjacent waters," she said.

"China will continue to properly handle maritime issues with relevant parties through dialogue and consultation and jointly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea."

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