China on Monday hit back at the US, South Korea, and Japan after the leaders of the three nations accused Beijing of “dangerous and aggressive” behavior in the South China Sea.
The accusation was made in a joint statement issued by President Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeoil during their summit at Camp David on Friday. The three leaders also called for “peace and stability” across the Taiwan Strait.
“The trilateral summit of leaders of the US, Japan, and the ROK (Republic of Korea) at Camp David smeared and attacked China on Taiwan and maritime issues — an act of gross interference in China’s internal affairs, a deliberate attempt to sow discord between China and our neighbors and a serious violation of norms in international relations,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.
Wang said that Beijing issued formal complaints to the three nations. He noted that the US has said the trilateral alliance it’s building with Japan and South Korea is not meant to be aimed at any nation. But the US strategy of building alliances in the region is clearly aimed at Beijing as US military leaders are open about the fact that they’re preparing for war with China.
“We urge it to match its words with actions and act on its statement that the revitalization of its alliances is not targeted at China, stop smearing China’s image and harming China’s interests, and stop creating division and confrontation and undermining regional peace and stability,” Wang said.
Wang warned against “attempts to stoke a new Cold War,” reaffirmed Beijing’s claims to the South China Sea, and repeated China’s position that it considers Taiwan an internal matter. “The Asia-Pacific region is a promising land for peace and development. It should not be turned into a boxing ring for major power rivalry, still less a battlefield of a cold war or hot war,” he said.
The summit between the leaders of the US, Japan, and South Korea was the first of its kind, and the three nations agreed to hold annual meetings and increase trilateral military cooperation. The trilateral alliance is just one example of many steps the US is taking to boost partnerships in the region as part of its strategy against China.