A Chinese foreign ministry official said on Monday that Beijing has lodged a strong objection to the U.S. and Japan for “baselessly” insulting China during a virtual meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
The news: Biden and Kishida had a “very in-depth discussion” about China last week, sharing concerns about the country’s intimidation of neighbours and “predatory” trade and other actions, according to a U.S. official. Kishida was particularly concerned about China’s nuclear programme.
What they’re saying: “They yet again have baselessly smeared and attacked China, and wantonly interfered with China’s domestic affairs,” said Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson at the Chinese foreign ministry.
- “The U.S. and Japan are holding to Cold-War mentalities and inciting ideological antagonism,” Zhao said at a regular media briefing.
- According to a White House statement, Biden and Kishida also vowed “to push back” against China’s attempts to disrupt the status quo in the East and South China Seas.
Biden and Kishida met online for the first time since Kishida took office as Japan’s prime minister in October. It came after “two-plus-two” talks earlier this month, in which the long-time allies’ defence and foreign ministries expressed deep concern about China’s growing might and pledged to respond if necessary to destabilising actions in the Indo-Pacific.