BEIJING (Reuters) - China is extremely dissatisfied with a statement by Group of Seven (G7) leaders on the contentious South China Sea, where Beijing is locked in territorial disputes with several southeast Asian countries, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the remarks at a regular briefing. China’s increasingly assertive stance in the region has sparked concern from the United States and its Asian allies.
“This G7 summit organized by Japan’s hyping up of the South China Sea issue and exaggeration of tensions is not beneficial to stability in the South China Sea and does accord with the G7’s position as a platform for managing the economies of developed nations,” Hua said. “China is extremely dissatisfied with what Japan and the G7 have done.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday that Japan welcomed China’s peaceful rise while repeating Tokyo’s opposition to acts that try to change the status quo by force.
China has said that the South China Sea issue has nothing to do with G7 or its member countries.
China is not in the G7 club but its rise as a global power has put it at the heart of some discussions at the advanced nations’ summit in Ise-Shima, central Japan. G7 leaders agreed on Thursday to send a strong message on maritime claims in the western Pacific.
Reporting By Ben Blanchard, Writing By Megha Rajagopalan; Editing by Nick Macfie
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