BEIJING (Reuters) – Beijing has issued a strongly-worded complaint to the United States and Japan for “baselessly” attacking China at a virtual meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday.
Biden and Kishida had a “very in-depth discussion” on China, sharing concerns about its intimidation of neighbours and “predatory” steps in trade and other realms, a U.S. official said of the meeting last week, adding that Kishida was particularly concerned about China’s nuclear buildup.
“They yet again have baselessly smeared and attacked China, and wantonly interfered with China’s domestic affairs,” said Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson at the Chinese foreign ministry.
“The U.S and Japan are holding to Cold-War mentalities and inciting ideological antagonism,” Zhao said at a regular media briefing.
Biden and Kishida also resolved “to push back” against China’s attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China Seas, according to a White House statement.
Biden and Kishida’s online meeting was their first substantial talks since Kishida became Japan’s prime minister in October. It followed “two-plus-two” discussions this month at which defence and foreign ministers from the longtime allies voiced strong concern about China’s growing might and vowed to respond if necessary to destabilising activity in the Indo-Pacific.
(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Writing by Ryan Woo; Editing by Kim Coghill and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)