June 24 (UPI) — China warned Japan against pursuing a new national security strategy following reports of discussions at Tokyo’s National Security Council.
Beijing foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Wednesday at a regular press briefing that the “world knows” of hidden intentions, when asked to comment about reported developments in Japan.
“People of the world know of the intentions of Sima Zhao,” the Chinese spokesman said, referring to a military general who ruled during the Three Kingdoms period of China.
According to chronicles of ancient Chinese history, Sima Zhao crushed internal opposition and took control of the state of Cao Wei, which had been seized by his father, Sima Yi.
Zhao said for “historical reasons,” Japan’s neighbors are wary of trends in Japan’s military and security.
“Some people in Japan are using external threats as an excuse to loosen military restrictions,” Zhao said, referring to Tokyo’s recent moves to amend its pacifist Constitution.
“We want Japan to accept the lessons of history with all its heart and adhere to the principle of an exclusively defensive security policy,” Zhao said. “In addition, [China] wants Japan to continue walking on the path of peaceful development.”
Zhao’s comments come a day after the Nikkei reported Japan’s National Security Council is undertaking a “comprehensive review” of security strategy following a decision to suspend the deployment of Aegis Ashore, a missile defense system.
China’s defense ministry also issued a warning on Wednesday, following a report from Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun on Saturday that the United States and Japan are allegedly negotiating the deployment of intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Japan.
Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said China “firmly opposes” any plans for deployment in the Asia-Pacific.
“If the United States insists on missile deployment, it would be understood as a provocation, right outside China’s doorstep,” Wu said. “China will not sit idly by.”
The United States withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in August.