Beijing condemns US-Japan-Philippines summit, summons envoys

Beijing condemns US-Japan-Philippines summit, summons envoys
Beijing condemns US-Japan-Philippines summit, summons envoys

China summoned Japanese and Philippines diplomats over remarks expressed during a summit of the leaders of the United States, Japan and Philippines. Beijing said it opposes countries “manipulating bloc politics.”

China on Friday criticized the United States, Japan and the Philippines after US President Joe Biden this week vowed to defend the Philippines from any attack in the South China Sea.

Meanwhile, Beijing has also summoned Japanese and Philippine diplomats to express dissatisfaction over comments that arose during a summit in Washington of the leaders of the United States, Japan and Philippines, China’s foreign ministry said on Friday.

China defends South China Sea movements

China said its actions in the South China Sea were “lawful” after Biden hosted Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., where the US president promised to stand by the Philippines in the event of any attack in the contested waters.

Biden’s remarks come amid repeated confrontations between Chinese and Philippine vessels in the waterway.

Beijing claims 90% of the South China Sea as its territory, but is opposed by several Southeast Asian states, among them the Philippines.

A joint statement issued by the leaders of the trio of nations who met in Washington voiced “serious concern” over Beijing’s movements in the disputed waters, slamming its behavior as “dangerous and aggressive.”

China has now responded, with foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning saying Beijing “firmly opposes the relevant countries manipulating bloc politics, and firmly opposes any behavior that provokes or lays plans for opposition, and hurts other countries’ strategic security and interests.”

“We firmly oppose engaging in closed cliques that exclude others in the region,” Mao added.

“Japan and the Philippines can of course develop normal relations with other countries, but they should not invite factional opposition into the region, much less engage in trilateral cooperation at the cost of hurting another country’s interests.”

“If these are not wanton smears and attacks on China, what are they?” she said at a news conference. “China’s actions in the East China Sea and South China Sea are appropriate and lawful, and beyond reproach.”

Diplomats summoned

As a result of the the remarks expressed during the trilateral summit in Washington, China has also summoned Japanese and Philippine diplomats.

The US and its allies, among them Japan, have been gradually increasing their military presence in the region to counter what they perceive as a threat from Beijing.

Liu Jinsong, a ministry official, met a Japanese embassy official, Akira Yokochi, to make “solemn representations” about the remarks that emerged in Washington.

Liu also expressed the same feelings to the Ambassador of the Philippines to China Jaime FlorCruz, who was also summoned over the Southeast Asian country’s “negative words and deeds” related to China during the meeting at the White House.

President Joe Biden and PM Kishida had laid out a series of projects at the summit in the US capital, from codeveloping missiles to moon landings, in addition to their criticisms of Chinese maritime actions. 

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