• Kyodo

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China said it welcomes trade and defense pacts signed Tuesday by Japan and Australia but warned the security partnership between Tokyo and Canberra must not harm security in the Asia-Pacific region.

The agreements “should make positive contributions to regional peace and stability instead of the other way around,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular briefing.

The deal “should not be directed against any third party,” Hong said.

China has expressed concerns over Japan’s regional ambitions following the decision by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration to loosen restrictions on the country’s use of force.

Abe and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot signed the bilateral accords in Canberra, the second stop on a three-nation tour by Abe.

The defense deal enables the transfer of Japanese military equipment and technology to Australia, which has shown strong interest in Japanese submarines.

The two countries also signed a free trade agreement, which will reduce tariffs on Australian beef and Japanese automobiles.

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