South Korean officials have denied Japanese media reports that the White House asked President Park Geun-hye not to attend China’s Victory Day Parade in September.
The Yonhap news agency cited a South Korean foreign ministry official as saying it’s “diplomatically impossible” for Washington to make such a demand.
The official said Park is still considering whether she would attend the military parade scheduled on September 3 in Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported over the weekend that US President Barack Obama “expressed concerns” to Seoul that if Park attends China’s parade, it will send “the wrong message” regarding the US-South Korean alliance.
The Japanese report was mocked by Chinese media Global Times, whose commentator said Tokyo seems to care more about the guest list of China’s military parade than Beijing.
In an editorial published on Monday, Global Times said “some countries are being oversensitive” when it comes to relations with China. “The shadow of geopolitics is hovering over like a ghost,” the article said. It also took a jab at Washington’s “petty calculations” on issues such as the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The Chinese foreign ministry said it has invited heads of states and foreign troops to attend the parade, which will be followed by an entertainment gala.
The guest list has not been made public. Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed he will attend, as will Russian troops. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have also been invited but have not confirmed attendance.
Around 200 people in Hong Kong were invited to watch the parade. The delegation list is being finalised by the Chief Executive’s Office and names will be released soon, a government spokesman told HKFP.
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