China irked by Japan deputy PM’s comments on ‘protecting’ Taiwan

  • China didn't take Aso's remarks kindly and its foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian called the comments ‘extremely wrong and dangerous’, and also invoked references to China’s colonial past.
Japanese soldiers train during a joint military drill between Japan Self-Defense Forces, French Army and US Marines, at the Kirishima exercise area in Ebino, Miyazaki prefecture, Japan. (REUTERS)
Japanese soldiers train during a joint military drill between Japan Self-Defense Forces, French Army and US Marines, at the Kirishima exercise area in Ebino, Miyazaki prefecture, Japan. (REUTERS)
Published on Jul 06, 2021 11:29 PM IST
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By hindustantimes.com | Written by Shankhyaneel Sarkar | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

China lodged a diplomatic protest with Japan after Japanese deputy prime minister Taro Aso said that Tokyo and Washington should combine to protect Taiwan from the Chinese military if it is attacked, news agency PTI reported.

Speaking to news agency The Japan Times, Aso on Tuesday signalled that Tokyo will consider a Chinese invasion of Taiwan an ‘existential threat to its security’. He said in case of such an event it will allow Japan to help defend the self-ruled island with the United States.

“If a major incident happened (over Taiwan), it’s safe to say it would be related to a situation threatening the survival (of Japan). If that is the case, Japan and the US must defend Taiwan together,” Aso was quoted as saying.

China didn't take Aso's remarks kindly as Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian called the comments ‘extremely wrong and dangerous’, and also invoked references to China’s colonial past.

“China rejects this and has lodged solemn representation with Japanese side. Japan’s militarism once committed deplorable crimes against China. Some Japanese politicians still want to make Taiwan its own which shows their failure to learn lessons from history,” Zhao was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. Lijian said that these comments run counter to the ‘One China’ policy.

Lijian said that no country should have any doubts regarding China’s will to protect its sovereignty. He said that no one should also underestimate the determination of the Chinese people. “China was no longer what it was in history and we will never allow any country to interfere in the Taiwan question,” Zhao said.

Earlier on July 1, Chinese president Xi Jinping while addressing the nation during the centenary celebrations of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) said that ‘reunification of Taiwan with the mainland is a historic mission and an unshakable commitment’.

Japanese defence minister Nobuo Kishi said that a comprehensive judgment will be taken based on the situation and information collected if it threatened Japan’s survival and the exercise of collective self-defence was necessary. The Japan Times report also said Tokyo, which maintained a silence on affairs related to Taiwan, recently hardened its stance.

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Saturday, October 16, 2021