BEIJING/MOSCOW: China and Russia have expressed concern over the “Washington Declaration” signed by the United States and South Korea earlier this week, with Beijing conveying its “strong dissatisfaction” to Seoul over the mention of “need for peace and stability” in the waters around Taiwan. a foreign ministry statement said on Friday.
The Russian foreign ministry said the agreement would destabilise the region and the wider world.
Liu Jinsong, director general of the Chinese foreign ministry’s Asian affairs department, met South Korean embassy minister Kang Sang-wook in Beijing on Thursday evening to emphasise China’s stance on Taiwan and urged Seoul to adhere to the One-China principle, the ministry said.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol is on a six-day visit to the United States, during which Yoon and President Joe Biden held talks that covered tensions between China and Taiwan and Chinese military activities in the South China Sea.
In a joint statement, the two presidents stressed the need for “peace in the Taiwan Strait” and said they opposed “any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the Indo-Pacific, including through unlawful maritime claims, the militarisation of reclaimed features, and coercive activities”.
In Moscow, Russia’s foreign ministry criticised the mention of cooperation in the nuclear energy sector in the declaration, saying that it would spark an arms race.
The United States pledged to give South Korea more insight into its nuclear planning, while Seoul promised not to seek nuclear weapons itself in an agreement both sides said was aimed against North Korea.
Russia has repeatedly railed against what it sees as the United States growing military presence across Asia.
“This development is clearly destabilising in nature and will have serious negative consequences for regional security, impacting on global stability,” Russia’s foreign ministry said.
Moscow said Washington’s and Nato’s drive for “decisive military superiority” would “bring nothing but escalating tensions”.
Washington has accused Moscow of nuclear sabre-rattling over various statements from Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, since the start of the Ukraine war that Russia would be prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend its “territorial integrity”.
At a joint news conference with President Joe Biden after signing the Washington declaration, South Korean leader Yoon Suk Yeol said the agreement was aimed at strengthening his country’s defences in the face of Pyongyang’s rapidly advancing nuclear weapons programme.
Source : Dawn