China: EU-Japan 'territorial dispute' claims attempt to smear Beijing
China's territorial claims are being targeted by 'Asian NATO.'
The spokesman of the Chinese foreign ministry, Zhao Lijian, said on Friday that a joint EU-Japan statement mentioning a 'territorial dispute' between China and Japan is an attempt to stain China's reputation and interfere in its internal affairs.
The statement expresses concern over the situation regarding the East China islets, particularly the Senkaku islands in Japan. China's naming of the islands is Diaoyu.
Speaking at a news briefing, Zhao said that China lodged stern representations over the statement which was published on Thursday.
The West, including Japan, has tried getting China to condemn Moscow's operation in Ukraine, while Beijing is adamant about maintaining a neutral stance on the matter, while also strengthening economic ties with Russia.
The United States has repeatedly threatened China with consequences if it were to provide economic or military support to Russia. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg suggested an Asian NATO consisting of major regional players like India and Japan, whereas AUKUS is also playing on the Taiwan field for pressure.