Japan Accuses China Of Pushing Territorial Claims During COVID-19 Pandemic.

Japan Accuses China Of Pushing Territorial Claims During COVID-19 Pandemic

Japan sees China as a longer-term and more serious threat than nuclear-armed North Korea


Japan's annual defence review accuses China of pushing its territorial claims amid the coronavirus pandemic and suspects Beijing of spreading propaganda and disinformation as it provides medical aid to nations battling the disease.

China "is continuing to attempt to alter the status quo in the East China Sea and the South China Sea," Japan said in the defence white paper, approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government on Tuesday.

The white paper described "relentless" intrusions in waters around a group of islets claimed by both nations in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

In the South China Sea, it said Beijing was asserting territorial claims by establishing administrative districts around disputed islands that forced countries distracted by the virus outbreak to respond.

Japan's criticism of China echoes comments by the United States at a time of rising regional tension as Beijing and Washtington held separate military drills in the resource-rich South China Sea and ties between the world's two biggest economies deteriorated.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday rejected China's disputed claims to offshore resources in most of the South China Sea, saying they were "completely unlawful".

Beijing insists its intentions in the waterway, through which around $3 trillion of global trade passes annually, are peaceful.

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China had lodged a complaint over the review.

"Japan's defence white paper is full of biases and false information," he told a daily briefing. "It is trying to do all it can to hype up the so-called China threat."

Japan sees China as a longer-term and more serious threat than nuclear-armed North Korea. Beijing now spends four times as much as Tokyo on defence as it builds a large modern military.

Japan's defence review also said China appeared to be responsible for "propaganda" and "disinformation" amid "social uncertainties and confusion" caused by the virus outbreak.

Such disinformation included online claims that the virus was brought to China by a U.S. military member, or that Chinese herbal remedies could treat the disease, a defence ministry official said at a briefing.

Other threats facing Japan include North Korea's development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and a resurgence of military activity by Russia in the skies and waters around Japan, at times in joint drills with China, the review added.

For an interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus, click: https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Additinonal reporting by Yew Lun Tian; Editing by Michael Perry and Clarence Fernandez)

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Related news

Moosehead, MEC ditching Facebook ads for good after boycott.

Participating companies in the July boycott said the action was in response to Facebook's refusal to deal with the spread of hateful content on its platform.

Beirut explosion sweeps over bride’s photoshoot in dramatic video.

The wedding footage turned into a disaster video in a matter of seconds.

Belarus promises to cooperate with Ukraine on suspected Russian mercenaries – media.

Ukrainian authorities last week asked Belarus to extradite 28 people, including nine Ukrainian citizens.

Coronavirus security restrictions enforced in Kashmir 1 year after autonomy was stripped.

Officials lifted a curfew in the restive region's main city of Srinagar late Tuesday, but said restrictions on public movement, transport and commercial activities would continue because of the coronavirus pandemic.

BBC Zoom video shows terrifying moment when Beirut blast hit.

A BBC Arabic journalist was recording an interview when the Beirut blast smashed into her office.

4 262

By continuing to browse World News (UAZMI), you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and agree to the use of cookies