The Japan Times reports that incoming Japanese Prime Minister Abe has already been warned by China not to get too close to Taiwan.

China has warned Japan’s new government over its Taiwan policy, reiterating its opposition to including the island in the scope of the Japan-U.S. security alliance and urging Tokyo to act with caution over Taipei’s invitation for former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to pay a visit.

If the Japan-U.S. security alliance “exceeds the bilateral scope, it will trigger neighboring countries’ worries and become a factor for instability and complexity in the regional security situation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Thursday at a news conference.

“We firmly oppose including China and China’s Taiwan in the scope of the Japan-U.S. security arrangement, either directly or indirectly, as it would constitute the infringement of China’s sovereignty,” Qin said, speaking after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe named his first Cabinet on Tuesday.

China regards Taiwan as a renegade province and says it would attack if the self-ruled island formally declares its independence and permanent separation from the mainland.

Qin also opposed Taiwan’s invitation for Koizumi to visit for the opening of a high-speed train service involving Japanese technology, saying Beijing is against “separatist activities by the Taiwan authorities under any excuse.”

Fascinating that the thugs in Beijing regard opening a train line as a “separatist activity.” Koizumi’s visit is welcome news; I wish we could get a former US president over here to speak in favor of Taiwan’s democracy. Or even in favor of a train line. One thing China’s new pre-emptive verbal strike shows is how much Tokyo’s drift toward Taiwan is riling Beijing. US policymakers might be able to talk themselves out of defending Taiwan if America is the only nation involved in the island’s defense, but if Japan is intent on defending Taiwan as well, it will become very hard for US policymakers to squirm out of their political and moral commitments.

(hat tip to Kaminoge Jim just down the road apiece. Stop by sometime!)