Japan warns that China and Russia have stepped up military cooperation in a bid to disrupt the current world order in Asia and beyond.
Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi warned over the weekend that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had “shaken the very foundations of international order” and that the world should unite in support of Ukraine.
But he also argued that China’s cooperation with Russia opens the door to “similar challenges” in other regions and threatens “the existing order, which has sustained our peace and prosperity, could be fundamentally upended,” according to a report by military.com.
Japan continued to support Ukraine while China declared it was neutral in the conflict, although the country declared a “limitless” relationship with Russia and blamed the US and NATO for provoking the war European.
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Hayashi, who was speaking at a meeting of European and Indo-Pacific foreign ministers in Sweden, accused China of “continuing and intensifying its unilateral attempts” to seize disputed territory in the East and South China Seas and stepped up its military actions around Taiwan, all while conducting joint military exercises with Russia.
“Furthermore, China and Russia are strengthening their military cooperation, including joint flights of their bombers and joint naval exercises in the vicinity of Japan,” Hayashi said.
China has said it is defending its sovereignty in the South China Sea, even though much of the territory it claims are Japanese-controlled islands.
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Speaking to reporters at the conference, Hayashi warned that the current situation in Ukraine and China’s actions in the Pacific “are not separable”, urging European leaders to take China’s threat seriously as they fight Russia in Ukraine.
“Since Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the security situation here in Europe and the security situation in the Pacific are inseparable,” Hayashi said. “So, this is very important and it is very significant that European ministers and also Pacific area ministers are discussing these issues together here in Stockholm.”
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