Troublemaking clique threat to regional stability

China's Foreign Ministry said that it has lodged solemn representations with Australia, Japan and the United States, deploring and rejecting their gross interference in China's internal affairs, and their fabrication of lies with the intention of smearing China and sabotaging solidarity and trust among regional countries.

As expected, the virtual 2+2 meeting between the foreign and defense ministers of the US and Japan on Friday sought to meddle in China's internal affairs and challenge its core interests. Apart from striking the old tune that the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security "applies to" the Diaoyu Islands, their joint statement also mentioned Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, the East China Sea and the South China Sea.

Similar rhetoric and blatant interference was also the name of the game when Japan and Australia signed an agreement one day earlier to enable their two militaries to work more closely on defense-related matters.

That these countries are strengthening their cooperation is a clear indication that they are consolidating their clique in a bid to contain China's development.

The US-led strategy of forming political and military cliques runs counter to the trend of the times and undermines the principles governing international relations and the existing world order.

But the more the US and its allies gang up with one another to target China, the clearer countries in the region will see that their fishing for self-interests is undermining regional peace and stability.

China will not be daunted by such coercion and intimidation, as long gone are the days when China was a weak country and had to swallow the bitter fruit of invasion by the imperialist powers. No one should underestimate its resolve to safeguard its core interests, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Japan, in particular, should be aware of the potential ramifications of enthusiastically jumping on the US bandwagon to infringe upon China's core interests. Unless it is ready to shoulder the consequences, Tokyo should be wary of going too far with its provocations.

The US, on its part, should stop roping in its allies and truly honor the words of US President Joe Biden, who assured President Xi Jinping in their video summit in November, that the US does not seek conflict with China.

Instead of stoking tensions in the region, the US and its allies should be contributing to regional peace, stability and development. Rather than being troublemakers that spread lies and create divisions, they should be endeavoring to ensure that the region is truly