Who: People’s Republic of China.
What: China has openly slammed planned joint US-Japan military exercises in which more than 40,000 troops from both the countries are taking part. “Showing power and confrontation is not a solution to problems and not in the interests of related parties,” Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said in an official statement. He added that China hoped the exercises would be “calm and restrained” and said they “should not harm the interests of third parties, including China”.
Where: The Chinese foreign minister made the statement in Beijing while addressing a forum on Asia-Pacific issues. The United States is currently engaged with South Korean troops in a four-day joint naval drill in waters west of the divided Korean peninsula. The upcoming Japanese-US military exercises will be held in Sea of Japan.
When: The statement by the Chinese minister was issued on Thursday. Joint US-South Korea military exercises started last Sunday. Japanese and US troops are to start drills around Japan on Friday.
Why: China believes any show of force by the Americans will stoke tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Beijing warned the US to prevent any escalation and avoid any actions that would “inflame the situation”. South Korea says it will send military observers to the Japanese-US exercises for the first time, a signal that North Korea’s provocations are tightening US military and political alliances in the region.
How: China recently proposed six-party emergency consultations in Beijing that comprises of North Korea, US, South Korea, Russia, Japan and the Communist Republic itself. China also expressed its concerns about North Korea’s shelling of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island on November 23, but refrained to criticise its long-term ally directly.