Beijing summons Japanese envoy over ‘anti-China’ G7 summit
Chinese foreign ministry says Japan’s actions were detrimental to China’s sovereignty and security.
China’s Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong has summoned the Japanese ambassador to register protests over “hype around China-related issues” at the Group of Seven (G7) summit over the weekend, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The heads of the world’s richest countries who met in the Japanese city of Hiroshima expressed serious concerns about rising tensions in the East China Sea and the South China Sea as well as voicing concerns about the human rights situations in China, including in Tibet and Xinjiang.
Sun said Japan collaborated with the other countries at the G7 summit “in activities and joint declarations … to smear and attack China, grossly interfering in China’s internal affairs, violating the basic principles of international law and the spirit of the four political documents between China and Japan”, referring to the China-Japan Joint Communique of 1972.
A joint communique issued by the G7 nations on Saturday singled out China on issues ranging from Taiwan and maritime claims to economic coercion and human rights, underscoring the tensions between Beijing and the group of rich countries which includes the United States.
State-backed Chinese newspaper Global Times called the G7 an “anti-China workshop” on Monday.
“The US is pushing hard to weave an anti-China net in the Western world,” the Global Times said in an editorial, titled “G7 has descended into an anti-China workshop”, on Monday.
“This is not just a matter of brutal interference in China’s internal affairs and smearing China, but also an undisguised urge for confrontation between the camps.”
Beijing’s foreign ministry said it firmly opposed the G7 statement and said it had summoned the Japanese ambassador as part of its protest to the summit host.
Russia, a close ally of China that was also called out in the G7 statement over its invasion of Ukraine, said the summit was an “incubator” for anti-Russian and anti-Chinese hysteria.
Separately, China’s embassy in the United Kingdom on Sunday urged London to stop slandering China, after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Beijing represents the world’s greatest challenge to security and prosperity.
Despite Beijing’s pointed reaction, US President Joe Biden said he expected a thaw in frosty relations with China “very shortly”.
Apart from Japan, the UK and the US, the group also includes Canada, France, Germany and Italy.
China strongly condemns UK PM Rishi Sunak’s malicious slander against China, urging some UK politicians to focus more on their long-standing domestic political, economic and social problems rather than following the US in stirring up trouble, the Chinese Embassy in the UK said… pic.twitter.com/NDoDZsIMTA
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) May 22, 2023
Sun said Japan’s actions were detrimental to China’s sovereignty, security and development interests.
“Japan should correct its understanding of China, grasp strategic autonomy, adhere to the principles of the four political documents between China and Japan, and truly promote the stable development of bilateral relations with a constructive attitude,” he added.
Hideo Tarumi, Japan’s ambassador to China, rebutted the charge saying it is “natural” for the G7 to refer to issues of common concern as it has done in the past and will continue to do so in the future as long as China does not change its behaviour, according to a readout.
“China should first take positive steps to address those issues of concerns if China demands not to refer to them,” Tarumi told Sun, according to the readout.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said during the Monday morning briefing that the country’s policy towards China has been consistent and that it will insist on matters that are needed and urge responsible behaviour while taking steps to address concerns and cooperate on common issues.