China accuses US of interfering as Japan says Beijing is using pandemic to push territorial claims

14-Jul-2020 Intellasia | Telegraph | 9:36 AM Print This Post

China also accused of spreading propaganda and disinformation as it provides medical aid to nations fighting Covid-19.

China has attacked a US State Department statement rejecting Beijing’s disputed claims in the South China Sea and called Washington’s accusations of China bullying its neighbours “completely unjustified”.

The comment came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday rejected China’s disputed claims to offshore resources in most of the South China Sea, saying they were “completely unlawful”.

“The United States is not a country directly involved in the disputes. However, it has kept interfering in the issue,” the Chinese Embassy in the United States said in statement published on its website.

“Under the pretext of preserving stability, it is flexing muscles, stirring up tension and inciting confrontation in the region.”

Beijing insists its intentions in the waterway, through which around $3 trillion of global trade passes each year, are peaceful.

But Japan’s annual defence review accuses China of pushing its territorial claims amid the coronavirus pandemic and suspects Beijing of spreading propaganda and disinformation as it provides medical aid to nations fighting Covid-19.

China “is continuing to attempt to alter the status quo in the East China Sea and the South China Sea,” Japan said in the defence white paper approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government on Tuesday.

The white paper described “relentless” intrusions in waters around a group of islets claimed by both nations in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

In the South China Sea, it said Beijing was asserting territorial claims by establishing administrative districts around disputed islands, that forced countries distracted by the coronavirus outbreak to respond.

Japan sees China as a longer-term and more serious threat than nuclear-armed North Korea. Beijing now spends four times as much as Tokyo on defence as it builds a large modern military.

Japan’s defence review also claimed China appeared to be responsible for “propaganda” and “disinformation” amid “social uncertainties and confusion” caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Such disinformation included online claims that the coronavirus was brought to China by a US military member, or that Chinese herbal remedies could treat Covid-19, a defence ministry official said at a briefing.

Other threats faced by Japan include North Korea’s ongoing development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles as well as a resurgence of military activity by Russia in the skies and waters in Japan, at times in joint drills with China, the defence review said.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/14/china-accuses-us-interfering-japan-says-beijing-using-pandemic/

 


Category: China, Japan

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