A Japanese intention to spearhead NATO’s Asia-Pacific expansion is entirely out of its own selfish interests and Cold War mentality, China said on Friday.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a routine press briefing in Beijing in response to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s call for greater Indo-Pacific security.
“At the NATO summit, the Japanese side repeated its rhetoric against unilaterally changing the status quo with its strength,” Zhao said. “In fact it is seeking an excuse for its own military expansion, which has been well known to all parties.”
“When talking about the future of East Asia, we should first think about what happened in the past.”
If Japan sincerely hoped for peace and stability in East Asia then it should seriously reflect on its history of militarist aggression and draw profound lessons from it, “instead of fanning the flames and trying to create chaos,” Zhao said.
“Japan’s intention to spearhead NATO’s Asia-Pacific expansion is entirely out of its own selfish interests and Cold War mentality, which will only provoke confrontation between camps and create antagonism and division in the region,” he said.
It would do no good for Japan and other countries in the region, the ministry spokesperson asserted.
East Asia was a place of peace and stability and a land of cooperation and development, “not a geopolitical arena,” the spokesperson said.
“Any move that undermines peace, stability, solidarity and cooperation in this region will be opposed by the Chinese people and the people of other East Asian countries and is doomed to fail,” he said.
The development of relations between countries should be conducive to world peace and stability and should not target or harm the interests of any third party, Zhao said.
“China will pay close attention to the relevant NATO movements and will not ignore cases that harm China’s interests,” he said.
(Compiled by Meng Gaohan)