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China hits back at Japan over hostile posture in military document

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo, taken on April 8, 2020, shows Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian taking a question at a daily media briefing in Beijing. (Via AFP)

The Chinese Foreign Ministry says Japan has made "irresponsible remarks" and leveled baseless accusations against China's normal defense activities in the region in an annual military document.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Tuesday that Japan had "for some time now" been making baseless accusations against China.

"This is very wrong and irresponsible. China expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to this," Zhao said, referring to the latest instance of such accusations, namely the Japanese white paper for 2021.

The remarks came after Japan in its military review pointed to Beijing as Tokyo's main national security concern. The report said in a new section on Chinese Taipei that it was necessary to "pay close attention to the situation with a sense of crisis more than ever."

It said growing military tensions around the self-ruled island — which is subject to Chinese sovereignty — as well as the economic and technological rivalry between China and the United States raised the prospect of crisis in the region.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zhao said that China opposed the United States’ meddling in its internal affairs. He also stressed that Hong Kong’s basic law and other laws clearly protected the interests of foreign investors.

Media reports earlier said that the US government would this week warn companies of the alleged risks of operating in Hong Kong.

The United States' relationship with China has grown increasingly tense over the past years. Washington has clashed with Beijing over trade, Hong Kong, the South China Sea, Chinese Taipei, and the coronavirus pandemic.

China in April warned the United States not to play with fire over Chinese Taipei, as Washington moved to establish more diplomatic contact with officials in the self-ruled island in violation of Chinese sovereignty.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said in June that the United States was a "risk creator," after the US sent a warship through the Taiwan Strait separating the island from the mainland. And China's military recently said it "drove away" a US warship that had illegally entered Chinese waters near the disputed Xisha Islands, which are also claimed by Vietnam.

Japan's deputy prime minister and finance minister, Taro Aso, said this month that his country should join forces with the United States to defend Chinese Taipei from any Chinese invasion.

China has sovereignty over the self-ruled Chinese Taipei. Under the "One China" policy, almost all world countries recognize that sovereignty. The US, too, recognizes Chinese sovereignty over Chinese Taipei; but in an attempted affront to China and in violation of its own official policy, America constantly bypasses Beijing to sell weapons to the island and stage presumed shows of military force in the Taiwan Strait.

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