China Doesn't Want Japan to Discuss South China Sea in the Upcoming G7 Summit
China urged Japan not to bring up the issue of the South China Sea dispute at the G7 Summit in May. The summit is an annual conference made up of the European Union, United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Canada, and France.
Japan is hosting this year's summit.
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China conveyed its request at the vice foreign ministerial meeting in Tokyo.
However, Japan reportedly rejected China's demand, arguing that the international community is finding it increasingly difficult to accept China's recent militarization and construction of artificial islands in disputed territory.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is adamant to state the importance of the rule of law in the G7 leaders' declaration, Kyodo reported.
For decades, China been involved in bitter territorial dispute over South China Sea with Taiwan and four members of ASEAN - Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
Although Japan does not stake any territorial claims in disputed territory, it has had many face off with Beijing in the past over South China Sea issues owing to the complex geo political factors and bitter diplomatic relations between the two countries.
During a meeting with Japan's Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, Kong Xuanyou, assistant Chinese foreign minister, voiced strong reservations over Tokyo's criticism of China on territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
Kong said that despite Japan not participating in the territorial dispute, it is acting like a concerned party. Kong also expressed doubts over Tokyo's sincerity to improve bilateral relationship with Beijing. He also warned Tokyo that its approach in the G7 meeting will be seen as a clear indication of whether Japan really wants to improve its bilateral relationship with China.