By John Sharman, Independent:
China has accused Donald Trump’s administration of putting regional stability in East Asia at risk following remarks by the President’s defense secretary that a U.S. commitment to defend Japanese territory applies to an island group that China claims.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang has called on Trump’s administration to avoid discussion of the issue and reasserted China’s claim of sovereignty over the tiny uninhabited islands, known in Japanese as the Senkaku and Chinese as Diaoyu.
The 1960 US-Japan treaty is “a product of the Cold War, which should not impair China’s territorial sovereignty and legitimate rights,” Lu was quoted as saying in a statement posted on the ministry’s website.
“We urge the U.S. side to take a responsible attitude, stop making wrong remarks on the issue involving the Diaoyu islands’ sovereignty, and avoid making the issue more complicated and bringing instability to the regional situation,” he added.
Widespread alarm over how the region could shape geopolitical tensions was raised following the revelation that Steve Bannon, the chief strategist in Trump’s White House, said he believed the US would go to war with China within five to 10 years during a radio broadcast in 2016.
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