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US-Japan-Philippines Criticize China's Maritime Claims, Beijing Responds with Condemnation

China criticized the US, Japan, and the Philippines for challenging its maritime claims, labeling their statement as defamatory.
The three countries, prior to a summit at the White House, released a statement denouncing China's "unlawful" claims and condemning its "dangerous and aggressive behavior." During the summit, US President Joe Biden reaffirmed American support for Japan and the Philippines.

Before their meeting in Washington, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida and Philippine President Marcos issued a statement criticizing China's actions in the South China Sea, including its militarization and unlawful maritime claims.

In response, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Mao Ning, stated that China opposes any actions that escalate tensions and harm other countries' interests.

She warned against Japan and the Philippines forming blocs and engaging in trilateral cooperation at the expense of other countries.

Mao Zedong, China's chairman at the time, expressed his belief that the US-Japan-Philippines summit was a veiled attack against China.

The trilateral statement mentioned the Second Thomas Shoal, a reef claimed by the Philippines and situated within its exclusive economic zone, and accused China of attempting to challenge Japan's control of the Senkaku Islands, an uninhabited archipelago near Taiwan that was annexed by Japan from China in 1895.

Mao saw these statements as clear provocations against China.
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