Japan calls for peace between China and Taiwan, worries Hong Kong

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, in a telephone interview Thursday with his Chinese counterpart, stressed the importance of peace and stability between China and Taiwan and expressed “serious concern” over the situation in China. Hong Kong and the Chinese region of Xinjiang.

Hayashi also told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that he was gravely concerned about increased Chinese activity in regional seas, including near a Japanese-controlled island claimed by Beijing, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Foreign Affairs in a press release.

Foreign ministers of the two Asian neighbors, whose relations are often marred by territorial disputes and history of war, pledged to continue dialogue and cooperation in economic relations, the ministry said.

Hayashi told Wang he was “gravely concerned” about the situation in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, the ministry said, without further describing it. China has cracked down on pro-democracy activists and lawmakers in Hong Kong and is accused of violating the human rights of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.

The ministry said Hayashi stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait amid growing tensions between China and Taiwan. China claims the autonomous island is part of its territory and has threatened to use force to unite with it if necessary.

Japan views China’s increasingly assertive actions in the region as a threat to national security and has stepped up its defense on its southwestern islands.

New Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has created a new ministerial post for international human rights, focusing mainly on China, and has appointed former defense minister Gen Nakatani to this post.

Beijing has denied human rights violations in Hong Kong and Xinjiang and says countries that make such accusations are interfering in its internal affairs.

China, which claims most of the South China Sea as well as Japanese-held islands in the East China Sea, says it has the right to defend its sovereignty, security and development interests.

Japanese officials say Chinese ships routinely violate Japanese territorial waters near islands in the East China Sea, sometimes threatening fishing vessels.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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