A senior Chinese official has warned the United States and its allies against stirring up troubles across the volatile Asia-Pacific region.
On Tuesday, Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan warned the United States to “keep (Japan) within bounds and not to be permissive and supportive.”
“It is Japan who is being provocative against China,” Chang told a news conference after talks with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Beijing, adding, “If you come to the conclusion that China is going to resort to force against Japan that is wrong … we will not take the initiative to stir up troubles,” Chang added.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei had recently said Washington needed to be more responsible and stop spreading rumors put about by “right-wing Japanese forces.”
This comes as Beijing has long been engaged in a dispute with Tokyo over the sovereignty of the group of the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, which are known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.
Senior Chinese officials have repeatedly called on Washington not to take sides over the issue.
The developments come as Washington and Beijing have locked horns over a range of issues.
On Sunday, China warned the US not to interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs, following a meeting between US Vice President Joe Biden and anti-Beijing activists.
A Chinese government spokesman urged Washington to “proceed discreetly” regarding the affairs of Hong Kong to avoid damage to China-US ties.
Beijing has demanded a clear explanation from Washington over reports of espionage by the US National Security Agency (NSA) on Chinese companies and institutions.
Senior officials in Beijing say they are gravely concerned about the claims and demand that any such spying be stopped.