Japan, US agree to cooperate in event of military clash between Taiwan, China: report

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US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi

Tokyo [Japan], March 22 (ANI): Japan and the US have agreed to closely cooperate in the event of a military clash between China and Taiwan, Kyodo News reported citing Japanese government sources.

Taiwan was discussed during the Japanese and US defence ministerial meeting.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin brought up the issue of Taiwan during talks with Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi on Tuesday.

Though there was no discussion on how their countries should coordinate their response to such an emergency, the sources said on Saturday.

Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.

Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing.

Regarding Taiwan issues, a statement issued after talks by Kishi and Austin as well as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, also held on Tuesday, only called for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

In the earlier meeting with Austin, Kishi referred to a recent increase in the number of Chinese warplanes crossing the median line in the Taiwan Strait and a need to study ways for the Japanese Self-Defense Forces to cooperate with U.S. forces defending Taiwan in the event of China's aggression, they said.

China has ramped up military aggression in the Taiwan strait in recent month.

Since early September, China has been carrying out the provocative and sustained show of forces in the Taiwan Strait.

Over the past few months, Taiwan has reported incursions by Chinese warplanes into Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) almost daily.

China has threatened that "Taiwan's independence" means war.

Wu Qian, spokesperson of China's Ministry of National Defence, on January 28 "warned" the people wanting "Taiwan independence" and said that "those who play with fire will set themselves on fire, and seeking 'Taiwan independence' means nothing but war".

According to an article by The Global Times, a Chinese state media, Taiwan's "mainland affairs council" has warned that any of the mainland's words and deeds that deliberately provoke Taiwan's bottom line may cause far-reaching effects that the mainland cannot bear. (ANI)