| 3 December 2023, Sunday |

Japan urges peace in Taiwan Strait as Beijing simulates attack

In a meeting between senior Japanese and Chinese officials on Monday, Tokyo emphasized the significance of maintaining calm in the Taiwan Strait following Beijing’s three days of war games on the island.

When China ended simulated strikes in response to Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-visit wen’s to the US, where she met House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the talks, which centered on issues of disputed waters in the East China Sea, took place.

Tokyo also urged Beijing to stop its coastguard ships entering Japanese waters, adding that it was deeply concerned about Beijing’s military activity near Japan and its coordination with Russia.

“We conveyed our deep concerns over the situation in the East and South China seas, and reiterated the importance of having peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” a Japanese foreign ministry statement said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno also told reporters: “The importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is not only important for the security of Japan, but also for the stability of the international community as a whole,”

At Monday’s talks, Chinese officials criticised Japan’s recent “negative moves” on the issues of the East and South China Seas, the Diaoyu (Senkaku) islands, and the Taiwan Strait, said the foreign ministry in Beijing.

Coastguard ships of both nations regularly confront each other around the islands known in Japan as the Senkaku and in China as the Diaoyu. They are controlled by Japan.

Beijing also demanded on Monday that Tokyo stop “all words and deeds” that violate China’s territorial sovereignty, undermine its maritime rights and interests, and refrain from meddling in the Taiwan issue, the Chinese ministry said.

Beijing, which considers Taiwan a part of China, regards meetings between senior U.S. and Taiwanese officials as interference in its internal affairs and has not ruled out using force to bring the island under its control.

Japan also said it had protested against the construction of two new structures in the East China Sea discovered last year, where China has constructed more than a dozen gas explorations platforms west of an equidistant line between the two countries.

The area has no official border.

Last month, China and Japan set up a military hotline to help defuse any incidents in the waters.

  • Reuters