Japan defence white paper claims Beijing is pushing territorial claims amid COVID-19
Tokyo: Japan has said China is pushing its territorial claims under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report published in Kyodo news agency, Japan said it is closely monitoring attempts by China to boost its global clout, asserting that Beijing has been dispatching medical professionals and providing face masks and assistance to other countries in response to the coronavirus pandemic so as to advance its own interests.
In a defense white paper, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government criticized Beijing for “relentlessly” attempting to undermine Tokyo’s administration of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, even at a time when international coordination is required to contain the virus, reports Kyodo news agency.
With the international community grappling with the pandemic, a further spread of the virus “may expose and intensify strategic competition among countries intending to create international and regional orders more preferable to themselves and to expand their influence,” the white paper said.
The report stated that China has been “taking advantage” of its virus-related assistance to other nations in an attempt to advance its political and economic interests, and that Beijing has been engaging in propaganda work such as “spreading disinformation” amid social unrest and confusion sparked by the pandemic, the Japanese news agency reported.
The world is currently facing COVID-19 pandemic which has touched nearly all the regions of the world.
The disease is believed to have originated from China.