It is not unlikely for Japan, which has growing disputes with China, to seek advice or any possible assistance from its allies, especially when the country lacks legal provision to exercise non-defensive military act. But China has warned Japan and its allies in the Pacific region: Australia and the United States.
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met with United States Secretary of State John Kerry and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop during the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bali, Indonesia on Friday. The territorial disputes in the East China Sea as well as the South China Sea, which is also known as Philippine Sea, were raised during the fifth ministerial meeting of the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue (TSD). In a joint statement of the three ministers, they expressed opposition on “any coercive or unilateral actions that could change the status quo in the East China Sea.”
However, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying stated on the ministry website, “The United States, Japan and Australia are allies but this should not become an excuse to interfere in territorial disputes, otherwise it will only make the problems more complicated and harm the interests of all parties.” China also urged the relevant countries to “respect facts, distinguish right from wrong, be cautious, and stop all words and deeds that are not beneficial to the proper handling of the issue and undermine regional stability.”
The islands of Senkaku, or Diaoyu in China, have strained the ties between the neighbours since Japan made it known that it would be purchasing the group of islands from a private owner. The purchase was completed in September last year. China is also not on good terms with its Southeast Asian neighbours – Vietnam and the Philippines – as far as Malaysia and Brunei over islets considered rich in mineral and gas.
Qin Gang, also a Chinese foreign spokesman, opposed the maritime security raised by Kishida during the TSD meeting. According to Qin, it was inappropriate to confer about political security or sensitive issue at APEC. “Playing up so-called maritime security issue goes against real efforts for the freedom and security of navigation.” In another statement, Qin claimed, “There has not been a problem with freedom and security of navigation in this region for a long time.”
[via The Guardian]
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