China on Monday criticized the United States and Japan for posing a "real threat" to the Asia-Pacific region, days after the leaders of the two democratic countries agreed to tackle the rising assertiveness of the Communist-led nation.
"The United States and Japan preached freedom and openness, but in fact, they have formed a clique and instigated group confrontation. This is a real threat to regional peace and stability," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters.
US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at their summit on Friday confirmed their cooperation across regional security, technology and other areas, committing to an alliance that will face the challenges posed by China.
Washington and Tokyo "cannot represent the international community. They are not qualified to define the international order, nor are they qualified to impose their own standards on others," Wang said.
In their first in-person meeting during his presidency, Biden and Suga also affirmed the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, a reference that has upset China, which sees the self-ruled island as its most sensitive territorial issue.
Wang said Taiwan is "an inalienable part of Chinese territory," and the two countries should "immediately stop interfering in China's internal affairs and immediately stop damaging China's interests," repeating the nation's mantra.
Taiwan and mainland China have been separately governed since they split as a result of a civil war in 1949. The United States switched its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.
China has endeavored to undermine democratic Taiwan's quest for international recognition, but the United States has forged close ties with Taipei in recent years, making relations between Beijing and Washington more fragile.
The last time the United States and Japan mentioned the situation regarding democratic Taiwan in a joint statement following their summit was 1969.