China has accused the US and Japan of an “ironic attempt of stoking division” during talks between US President, Joe Biden and Japan Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga.
This comes after the two leaders held a news conference on 16th April after talks at the White House. The leaders also issued a joint statement on shared values in democracy and human rights,;as well as concerns about China’s activities in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington noted in a statement that Suga and Biden’s conference had gone “far beyond;the scope of normal development of bilateral relations”.
“It cannot be more ironic that such attempt of stoking division and building blocs against other countries is put under the banner of free and open”.
The U.S. and China have clashed over a wide range of issues recently, including human rights in the Xinjiang region. Also, a crackdown on protests and political freedom in Hong Kong and China’s assertion of its territorial claims to Taiwan;and most of the South China Sea has been a sticking point.
The Chinese Embassy’s statement reiterated Beijing’s stance on Xinjiang, Taiwan and Hong Kong, all of which it considers domestic matters.
“These matters bear on China’s fundamental interests and allow no interference. We express strong concern and firm opposition to relevant comments in the Joint Leaders’ Statement.”
Biden and Suga’s statement marks the first time a Japanese PM has spoken out in a communique with the US on Taiwan, since 1969 talks between Richard Nixon and Eisaku Sato. The 1969 talks came before Tokyo normalized ties with Beijing.
China claims self-governing Taiwan as its territory and says, like Hong Kong, it should be under Beijing’s control.
Biden, Suga commit to take on China’s challenges in the Pacific
President Joe Biden met with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the White House on Friday, with Suga the first foreign leader to be hosted by the new United States administration.
The leaders revealed that the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, trade, the Tokyo Olympics, North Korea, Xinjiang and Taiwan were issues discussed at the meeting.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Suga after their meeting, Biden iterated the US’ position to defend human rights.
“We committed to defending, advancing our shared values, including human rights and the rule of law. We’re going to work together to prove that democracies can still compete and win in the 21st century.”
Suga also disclosed the leaders “discussed the free and open Indo-Pacific”. He said they have agreed “to promote the vision through concrete efforts” in cooperation with Australia, India and the 10-member ASEAN nations.
“We also had serious talks on China’s influence over the peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific and the world at large. We agreed to oppose any attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion in the East and South China Seas.
“At the same time, we agreed on the necessity for each of us to engage in frank dialogue with China and in so doing, to pursue stability of international relations while upholding universal values.”