US, Japan, Australia hit for 'stirring up division'

China Daily
Chen Zhuo
2022-01-08 15:55:54

This bird eye view shows the coral reefs in China's Xisha Islands, South China Sea. [Photo/Xinhua]

China strongly rejects the gross interference by the United States, Japan and Australia in its internal affairs and has lodged solemn representations with the countries, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Friday.

In a joint statement released on Friday, the US and Japan voiced their concerns about China's so-called efforts to "undermine the rules-based order", and pledged to work together to push back against "China's attempts to destabilize the region". A day earlier, the prime ministers of Japan and Australia expressed serious concerns about the situation in the South China and East China seas as well as issues concerning the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Hong Kong when they met virtually.

Speaking at a regular news briefing, Wang said China has noticed the countries' finger-pointing at China's domestic affairs and strongly opposed their acts of smearing China with fabricated information and undermining solidarity and mutual trust among countries in the region.

"I want to emphasize that China's positions on the Taiwan question and issues concerning the South China and East China seas, Xinjiang and Hong Kong are consistent and clear," he said, and urged the countries to be contributors to regional peace and stability instead of troublemakers that spread rumors and set up barriers.

To safeguard peace and stability in East Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, countries need to uphold true multilateralism, respect the open and inclusive regional cooperation architecture that has been in place for years and seek dialogue and cooperation, Wang added.

"While the US, Japan and Australia are boasting of freedom, openness and inclusiveness, they are in fact forming cliques that target another country, flexing their muscles and intimidating others with military power," he said, adding that the international community is clearly aware of this.

The spokesman said the top priority for the countries now is to honestly fulfill their due international responsibilities.

"We also urge relevant countries to stop the nuclear submarine deal involving the US, the United Kingdom and Australia, stop the release of contaminated water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea, stop denying and downplaying the aggressive history of militarism and stop stirring up division and confrontation among regional countries," he said.

Da Zhigang, director of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies at the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences, said that the US is utilizing various kinds of bilateral and multilateral mechanisms with its allies to contain China.

"The excuses they use now have expanded from traditional geopolitical reasons such as regional security to human rights and even industries," Da said.

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