Chinese Envoy Calls Japanese PM Abe the ‘Biggest Troublemaker in Asia’

China's Ambassador to the African Union lets his hosts know exactly where he stands

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Carl de Souza / AFP / Getty Images

Xie Xiaoyan, China's Ambassador to Ethiopia and permanent Representative to the African Union holds up a photo showing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a fighter jet during press conference in Addis Ababa on Jan. 15, 2014.

He’s the “biggest troublemaker in Asia.” That was the assessment of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by China’s Ambassador to the African Union Xie Xiaoyan, as the Japanese leader concluded a three-nation trip to Africa. In recent years, China has poured investment into Africa, and Xie on Jan. 15 poured scorn on Abe’s diplomatic efforts in the region, labeling it “China containment.” Abe’s tour of Ivory Coast, Mozambique and Ethiopia came with promises of $320 million in aid for the African continent.

Last month, Japan’s hawkish Prime Minister earned international condemnation when he visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, where veneration of Japanese war dead includes the honoring of notorious war criminals. Abe has also presided over a statistically small but geopolitically significant increase in Japan’s defense budget, in part to secure islands in the East China Sea that Tokyo administers but to which Beijing lays claim. In 2012, before Abe became PM for the second time, he said he wanted to review the Japanese government’s 1993 apology for forcing Asian women to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II.

(MORE: Japan’s Hawkish PM Abe Visits Controversial Shrine That Honors War Criminals)

During his press conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, where Abe had just visited, Xie held aloft photos of Chinese he said had been massacred by Japanese troops. “[Abe] has worked hard to portray China as a threat, aiming to sow discord, raising regional tensions and so creating a convenient excuse for the resurrection of Japanese militarism,” said the Chinese envoy. In recent months, Abe has traveled across the developing world, which Chinese critics have taken as a challenge to Beijing’s own charm offensive.

But even as China has used its diplomatic corps to assail Japan’s globetrotting, nationalist leader, the Chinese military has also enlarged its own footprint — a worrisome development for Asian neighbors embroiled in territorial conflicts with Beijing. On Jan. 15, the Chinese Defense Ministry confirmed a test flight earlier this month of a new hypersonic missile delivery vehicle that could carry nuclear warheads at landmark velocity. The Chinese military has enjoyed years of double-digit budget hikes and is rapidly expanding its arsenal. (This type of hypersonic technology is being developed by only a few nations.) “The Asia Pacific is fast becoming a powder keg,” read a joint statement from three members of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, in response to reports of China’s hypersonic flight trial. “Allowing nations that do not share our respect for free and open avenues of commerce to gain a strategic advantage over the United States and her allies only brings us closer to lighting the fuse.”

(MOREJapanese Diplomat Warns China to Not Become Asia’s ‘Voldemort’)

Meanwhile, the head of U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear, gave more details on Jan. 15 of the near accident in the South China Sea last month between an American guided missile cruiser and a Chinese navy vessel sailing not far from Beijing’s first aircraft carrier, which was making its debut in the vast waterway. The Americans allege that the Chinese warship came within around 500 m of the USS Cowpens on Dec. 5. The American vessel had to suddenly change course to avert a crash, claimed Locklear. Although the ships were in international waters, China has over the past couple years more assertively claimed most of the South China Sea as its own.

The Philippines, one of the Southeast Asian nations most at loggerheads with China over contested waters, last year accepted a Japanese promise to modernize the Philippine coastguard. Manila is also considering a plan to welcome back U.S. troops to the Philippines, after American bases there were closed due to popular opposition in the early 1990s. “The Chinese are wasting an opportunity to show us that it is a benevolent superpower,” says Clarita Carlos, a former president of the National Defense College of the Philippines. Now, with the Chinese outcry over Abe’s three-nation tour, the war of words has extended to the far-off continent of Africa.

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8 comments
chinawrong
chinawrong

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JoniRasta
JoniRasta

Scramble for Africa Part II


Haha ...it surprises me when the so called developed countries fight each other for resources and domination over Africa. Whether Shinzo likes China or not...I have seen accountable and quality of their works in Africa. They are better alternative to China!

JenLi
JenLi

Diaoyudao may belong to Taiwan.   Just certainly not to Japan.  Japan stole Diaoyudao and Taiwan in 1895, and started 50 year reign of murder, betrayal and sneak attacks in Asia and the US.   None of her neighbors could bear to look at her without throwing up at her virtuous hypocricy.


China will work with Philipines if the US could show to be neutral.   But by defending Japan's piecemeal thievery, US lost all credibility in Asian disputes.

KungTofuTufo
KungTofuTufo

China is the real trouble in Asia. Not only that she like stealing islands , lands from its neighbors. In history Mao zedong the communist leader of China killed more than the Japanese and Germany combined. If your country has a Chinese relationship it's 100% there's mining there. Not only mining but destructive mining that destroyed your forest land.

George123
George123

Abe is not only a trouble maker and also a liar. His work and deed is never matching. He openly admitted himself as an extreme right in UN last year and his background from the famous WWII war criminal family is absolutely making him to worhship the ghostly Shrine to honour his uncles without shame.  How can this make peace to the world when he did wrong in the public of the world. Even UN Chief, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, US ...  condemmed Abe but he still not repent and lying to everybody.  He told everyone that he will explain to China and Korea in the summit meeting.  Why this liar Abe cannot explain in front of the whole world and all the WWII victims family to see why he did this.  It doesn't make sense as a leader.

ChetanChandra
ChetanChandra

The Chinese Govt. becomes vocal only when any of their neighbour tries to contest their hegemony,as the same is the case with other neighbouring countries to their unilateral decision.They never go for conses and conciliation with them,which is grown due to their inner perception of being one of the five superpowers in the world.But they have to put into mind that they are only powerful because the other nations are weak due to various constraints amongst themselves.

And this should not be taken as the weakness which is perpetual,in the continuously changing world.

nukecoke
nukecoke

@KungTofuTufo  I don't know why people always mention Maozedong or Tibet or Tiananmen square or Stalin or Hitler, etc.,every time in unrelated news..Your comment is completely off-topic.