China summons Japanese ambassador over actions at G7

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China Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong has summoned the Japanese ambassador to register protests over “hype around China-related issues” at the Group of Seven (G7) summit over the weekend, a ministry statement late on Sunday said.

The heads of the world’s leading democracies meeting in the Japanese city of Hiroshima expressed serious concerns about rising tensions in East and South China Seas as well as voicing concerns about the human rights situations in China, including in Tibet and Xinjiang.

Sun said Japan collaborated with the other countries at the G7 summit “in activities and joint declarations … to smear and attack China, grossly interfering in China’s internal affairs, violating the basic principles of international law and the spirit of the four political documents between China and Japan,” referring to the China-Japan Joint Statement of 1972.

He said Japan’s actions were detrimental to China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and that China is “strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposes” them.

“Japan should correct its understanding of China, grasp strategic autonomy, adhere to the principles of the four political documents between China and Japan, and truly promote the stable development of bilateral relations with a constructive attitude,” Sun said.

Hideo Tarumi, Japanese ambassador to China, rebutted that it is “natural” for the G7 to refer to issues of common concern as it has done in the past and will continue to do so in the future as long as China does not change its behaviour, according to a readout.

“China should first take positive steps to address those issues of concerns if China demands not to refer to them,” Tarumi told Sun, according to the readout.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said during Monday morning briefing that the country’s policy toward China has been consistent that it will insist on matters that is needed and urge responsible behaviour, while take steps to address concerns and cooperate on common issues.

The Chinese embassy in Britain had earlier asked London to stop slandering and smearing China to avoid further damage to China-UK relations.

Reuters / Foluke Ibitomi

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