China "Seriously Concerned And Opposed" After Trump Backs Japan Over Disputed East China Sea Islands

On Friday, when President Trump confirmed that the US alliance with Japan covers the contested "Senkaku" islands located in the East China Sea, and which prompted a diplomatic scandal between China and Japan in 2013, we predicted that China would not be happy.

Additionally, in a joint Japanese-U.S. statement after the weekend meeting in the United States said the two leaders affirmed that Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan security treaty covered the islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

Sure enough, on Monday our prediction was confirmed after China's Foreign Ministry expressed displeasure after Japan got continued U.S. backing for its dispute with Beijing over islands in the East China Sea during a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Reuters reported.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China was "seriously concerned and resolutely opposed", adding that the islands had been China's inherent territory since ancient times.

"No matter what anyone says or does, it cannot change the fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China, and cannot shake China's resolve and determination to protect national sovereignty and territory," Geng told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

The United States and Japan should watch what they say and do and stop making the wrong comments to avoid complicating the issue and affecting regional peace and stability, he added.

And so, just as Trump rebuilds the "One China" bridge he burned in December after his discussions with Taiwan, he appears to have started burning another one as he sides, at least for the time being, with Japan on a topic that is just as sensitive to China as the Taiwan matter: its territorial claims in both the South and East China Sea. We expect angry op-eds in the Global Times, China's equivalent of Trump's twitter account, to pop up momentarily.