China’s Navy indirectly denied rebuffing Japan in a fleet review of an international symposium after the United States refused to participate in the event since its ally was snubbed. They emphasized in a statement released on its website that the fleet review was not part of the symposium, in which both nations were invited.
While officials from the United States confirmed that it was invited to both the parade of ships and the Western Pacific Naval Symposium held in Qingdao, Japan said it would only participate in the regular symposium. This led to the speculation that Japan was snubbed from the review due to strained bilateral relations between the two nations. However, the statement in the website tried to quell the rumors by saying, “This joint naval drill is not an activity within the framework of the symposium, but to mark the founding day of the Chinese navy.” They said that they invited different countries for both the symposium and the naval review.
While many continue to speculate, the fleet review, which has brought to surface the damaged state of bilateral relations between Japan and China, has been canceled in light of the “special situation atmosphere” due to the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370. Most of the efforts were shifted into finding the plane with 239 passengers on their way to Beijing, according to China’s navy, since a lot of them were Chinese citizens.