Beijing urges Tokyo to cast off 'Zero-Sum Game Trap'
China opens its arms to Tokyo, urging it to maintain peaceful ties.
Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi called on Tokyo to maintain their peaceful ties and not join anti-China political blocs during the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Wang said in a virtual address in Tokyo that "China and Japan should treat each other with sincerity and strive to live together peacefully," rather than agitate each other's core interests, including "heavily sensitive issues involving history and Taiwan."
“The differences that exist between the two sides should be properly dealt with in accordance with the existing consensus, and more new consensus should be constantly sought,” Wang said.
Wang went on to say that there was an opportunity “to push China-Japan relations forward in the right direction in a sustained and stable manner.”
This comes after Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed his cabinet ministers to increase Japan's defense budget to around 2% of the gross domestic product in the year starting April 2027.
Kishida has lately given those instructions to Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki, as part of Japan's plans to expand its defense budget to meet new security challenges.
At the time, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning criticized the move as “highly dangerous,” telling reporters it would “put Asian neighbors and the international community on high alert about Japan’s commitment to an exclusively defensive policy and to peaceful development.”
Tokyo, which has long been an ally of the US, has taken steps in recent years to emphasize its military power, converting a number of "multipurpose destroyers" into de facto aircraft carriers and considering the possibility of eliminating the neutrality clause from its constitution.
Japan has also joined the US, India, Australia, and other nations in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), a group whose goal is to curb Chinese presence in the region.
It is worth noting that Washington and Canberra invited, on Wednesday, Japan to "integrate into our force posture initiatives in Australia."
In a different context, Tokyo may be hosting the Royal Australian Navy's nuclear-powered submarines which are currently being acquired under the trilateral AUKUS arrangement.
Japan has been boosting security cooperation with AUKUS members - Australia, the US, and the UK, with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida signing the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in a visit to Australia in October.