CHINA / POLITICS
Hyping Taiwan question in Japan-EU statement ill-intended attempt to push ‘China threat': experts
Published: May 27, 2021 11:09 PM
Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (R) attends the EU-Japan videoconference summit with European Council President Charles Michel (L) and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (C) in Tokyo on Thursday. Photo: AFP

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (R) attends the EU-Japan videoconference summit with European Council President Charles Michel (L) and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (C) in Tokyo on Thursday. Photo: AFP


Japan stepped up its interference in China’s internal affairs as it brought up the island of Taiwan in a joint statement with the European Union (EU) on Thursday, the second time it has directly referred to the Taiwan question since the meeting with US President Joe Biden in April. 

Experts said it was an ill-intentioned attempt to gang up with the West and hype the “China threat” theory, which will end up hurting regional development and even the world recovery from the pandemic.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga held a virtual summit on Thursday with the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council chief Charles Michel. The two sides later issued a joint statement, in which the East and South China Seas, as well as the Taiwan Straits, were mentioned. 

“We remain seriously concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas and strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions,” read the statement, “and reaffirm the critical importance of maintaining freedom of navigation and overflight,” according to the official website of the European Council. 

It said that Japan and the EU underscore the need for “peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits, and encourage the peaceful resolution of the cross-Strait issues.”

In April, Japan released a joint statement with the US after the two countries’ leaders met in Washington, which highlighted the US-Japan alliance in the Indo-Pacific region and portrayed China as a negative influence in the region. It was the first time the two countries’ leaders had mentioned the island of Taiwan in a joint statement since the meeting of Eisaku Sato and Richard Nixon in 1969 before China and Japan had established diplomatic relations. 

Japan’s constant attempts to meddle with China’s internal affairs has completely disregarded the China-Japan Joint Communiqué signed in 1972 and severely damaged bilateral relations, as well as China’s relations with the European Union, Lü Yaodong, director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Japanese Studies, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

After Biden took office, the alliance between Japan and the US strengthened, and thus they formed a joint force in targeting China, which is further fueled by the so-called “value-oriented diplomacy” adopted by some politicians in the West. 

Chinese observers warned that the consequences could be severe. “Japan has become a veritable saboteur, not only for the regional development of East Asia, but the entire world,” Lü said, explaining that at a time when East Asia could play a leading role in the recovery of world economy in the post-epidemic era, Japan has cast a shadow on the region’s peace and stability. 


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