US, Japan share concerns about China's 'disruptive' actions in Indo-Pacific region

ANI
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi (Photo Credit: Reuters)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Washington DC [US], March 16 (ANI): Senior US and Japanese officials during high-level security talks on Tuesday discussed their shared concerns over China's "disruptive" activities in the Indo-Pacific region and committed to opposing coercion behaviour toward others in the region.

The two sides issued the statement after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Llyod Austin met in Tokyo with their Japanese counterparts Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi.

"The United States and Japan acknowledged that China's behaviour, were inconsistent with the existing international order, presents political, economic, military, and technological challenges to the Alliance and to the international community," the joint statement said.

The ministers from the two countries committed to opposing coercion and destabilising behaviour toward others in the region, which undermines the rules-based international system. They also expressed serious concerns about recent disruptive developments in the region, such as the China Coast Guard law.

Furthermore, the two sides discussed the United States' unwavering commitment to the defense of Japan under Article V of our security treaty, which includes the Senkaku Islands. The United States and Japan remain opposed to any unilateral action that seeks to change the status quo or to undermine Japan's administration of these islands, the statement added.

The ministers also underscored the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. They also shared serious concerns regarding the human rights situation in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Earlier in February, China enacted a law that permits China's coast guard to destroy other countries' structures and use force when defending the country's maritime claims in disputed areas.

In recent years, China has increased its territorial and maritime claims in the Indo-Pacific region, overlapping with the interests of a number of nations. Beijing has been locked up in a dispute with Tokyo over a string of uninhabited but resource-rich islets, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan and the Diaoyu Islands in China.

Moreover, Beijing has boosted the scale and frequency of its military drills in the Indo-Pacific, prompting the United States and its regional allies -- Japan, India and Australia -- to enhance strategic cooperation within the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue in response. (ANI)