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Beijing Warns US, Japan on Collusion   04/16 06:16


   BEIJING (AP) -- China said Friday it has expressed "serious concerns" to the 
United States and Japan over what it calls negative moves and collusion between 
the two countries against China.

   The statement from Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian came just 
before President Joe Biden welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to 
the White House on Friday in his first face-to-face meeting with a foreign 

   That meeting is seen as reflecting Biden's emphasis on strengthening 
alliances to deal with a more assertive China and other global challenges.

   Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing that Japan and the United States 
should "take China's concerns and demands seriously, avoid words and actions 
that interfere in China's internal affairs and harm China's interests."

   "China has no objection to the development of normal bilateral relations 
between Japan and the United States, but such relations should help enhance 
mutual understanding and trust among regional countries and contribute to peace 
and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and should not target or harm the 
interests of third parties," Zhao said.

   China would "make necessary responses as appropriate," he said.

   Biden and Suga see their meeting as a chance to counter messaging from 
Chinese President Xi Jinping that America and democracies in general are on the 
decline, after the political turmoil and backing away from global leadership 
that marked Donald Trump's presidency.

   Japan remains China's traditional rival dating from Tokyo's brutal WWII 
occupation of much of the country. Relations between Washington and Beijing are 
tenser than ever over trade, technology, Hong Kong, Taiwan and human rights, 
particularly China's policies toward Turkic Muslims in the northwestern region 
of Xinjiang.

   U.S. and Chinese naval movements in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea, 
which China claims virtually in its entirety, have added to tensions in recent 
days, following statements from U.S. officials that Beijing may be accelerating 
its schedule to annex Taiwan by force.

   The Biden administration says the primary challenge for the United States 
lies in managing U.S. policies toward the Indo-Pacific, the main theater in 
which China is flexing its growing economic and military power. That helped 
guide Biden's decision, announced this week, to pull U.S. troops out of 
Afghanistan and free the administration to focus more on East Asia.

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