Apr 20, 2021 07:13 UTC
  • China raps US, Japan for ‘reckless harm’ to int’l order over Taipei statement

China has accused the US and Japan of committing “reckless harm” to international order after US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said they would work together on Chinese Taipei.

“The US and Japan advocate freedom and openness, but actually they're forming their own factions and cliques, and stirring up conflict among other circles,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said during a briefing in Beijing on Monday.

“Now this is the real threat to regional stability and peace, reckless harm committed to the rules of international order,” he added, signaling further escalation of tensions between them.

Biden hosted the Japanese premiere at the White House on Friday, in what was his first meeting with a foreign leader since assuming office earlier this year.

The meeting came amidst growing tensions between Washington and Beijing and was seen as part of Biden administration’s attempt to strengthen alliances in the Indo-Pacific region.

As expected, China figured prominently in the joint statement made by Biden and Suga on Friday.

The two leaders pledged to maintain a “peaceful” Taiwan Strait, and said they were “committed to working together to take on challenges from China”. 

Suga and Biden also “shared their concerns over Chinese activities that are inconsistent with the international rules-based order, including the use of economic and other forms of coercion.”

“We oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea,” the statement said, referring to the uninhabited Senkaku Islands near Taipei.

“We reiterated our objections to China's unlawful maritime claims and activities in the South China Sea and reaffirmed our strong shared interest in a free and open South China Sea governed by international law,” it added, invoking China’s claims to territory in the South China Sea. "

China maintains sovereignty over self-ruled Taipei, and under the “One China” policy, nearly all countries worldwide — including the US — recognize that sovereignty.

Washington, however, has been making provocative moves around the self-governed island in an attempt to irk Beijing, particularly by sailing its warships through the strategic Taiwan Strait, which separates Taipei from mainland China.

Japan had for long taken a cautious approach in its relations with neighboring China, however, Suga, who succeeded Shinzo Abe last September, has shown tilt towards Washington.

Prior to his US visit, reports had been doing rounds that the Biden administration may press the Japanese leader to issue a statement of support for Chinese Taipei.

In a statement on Sunday, Chinese Foreign Ministry called on the US and Japan to end their interference in the country’s domestic affairs and “stop harming” Beijing’s interests.