China resolutely opposed to US-Japan joint statement: Chinese embassy in US

US President Joe Biden and Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in a joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 16, 2021.
US President Joe Biden and Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in a joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 16, 2021.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China is resolutely opposed to the joint statement issued by the United States and Japan following talks between the two countries' leaders, China's embassy in the US said in a statement on Saturday (April 17).

The remarks have “completely gone beyond the scope of the normal development of bilateral relations”, harming the interests of third parties as well as peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific, the embassy said.

The move was an attempt to split the region that “will inevitably proceed with the purpose of harming others and end in harming themselves”, it added.

The summit – Biden’s first in-person meeting with a foreign leader as president – came just days after China sent 25 aircraft, including fighters and nuclear-capable bombers, near Taiwan, which Beijing considers a wayward province.

“I refrain from mentioning details, since it pertains to diplomatic exchanges, but there is already an agreed recognition over the importance of peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait between Japan and the United States, which was reaffirmed on this occasion,” Suga said.

The joint leaders’ statement included the first reference to Taiwan since 1969, before Tokyo normalized ties with Beijing, using similar phrasing by the foreign and defense ministers of both countries after a meeting last month.

Attention had been focused on the wording on Taiwan and other sensitive issues, given caution in Tokyo about the need to balance its security concerns with Japan’s deep economic ties with China.

In another swipe at China, Biden told the news conference the United States and Japan will invest together in areas such as 5G, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, genomics and semiconductor supply chains. The joint statement said the United States had committed US$2.5 billion (S$3.34 billion) and Japan US$2 billion to strengthen digital competitiveness including in 5G and beyond 5G networks.

“Japan and the United States are both deeply invested in innovation and looking to the future,” Biden said. “That includes making sure we invest in and protect technologies that will maintain and sharpen our competitive edge.” Speaking later to a Washington think tank, Suga said Japan would say what is needed to be said to China and speak up on human rights, while also stressing the need to establish a stable, constructive relationship with Beijing.

The leaders’ statement said they “share serious concerns”about the human rights situation in Hong Kong and China’s Xinjiang region, where Washington has said Beijing is perpetrating a genocide against Muslim Uighurs. China has denied abuses.