US, Japan say China is ‘greatest’ strategic challenge

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The US and Japan said Wednesday that China is the “greatest” strategic challenge for both nations, APA reports citing Anadolu.

The assessment was made during a joint press conference after security talks under the 2+2 format were held between the American and Japanese foreign and defense ministers in the US capital Washington, D.C.

“We agree that the PRC is the greatest shared strategic challenge that we and our allies and partners face,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken, referring to the People’s Republic of China.

Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, for his part, accused China of presenting “an unprecedented and the greatest strategic challenge.”

“Its foreign policy to recreate international order to serve its self-interest is a great concern for the Japan-US alliance and for the whole of the international community,” said Hayashi.

He said the US and Japan also confirmed their strong opposition against “unlawful claims and coercive and provocative efforts and actions” by China in the South China Sea.

“We reaffirmed that the basic positions of our two countries on Taiwan remains unchanged and confirmed the importance of maintaining the peace and stability of the Taiwan Straits,” said Hayashi.

During their meeting, Blinken said the ministers discussed ways to deepen coordination between the two nations, including on allied command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, joint and shared usage of facilities and increased bilateral exercises.

He said the US and Japan are bolstering cooperation with allies and partners in the face of North Korea’s missile launches.

Blinken also said the US applauds Japan’s pledge to double defense spending by 2027, noting that “Japan’s strategies are aligned closely with our own national security strategies.”

He said the two nations are also working with G-7 partners to impose costs on Russia over its war in Ukraine, adding that the US looks forward to Japan’s leadership and driving an ambitious agenda on this during its presidency of the G-7 this year.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said China is “a pacing challenge” for the Department of Defense, adding that Japan and the United States remain unique in their concern over China’s destabilizing actions.

– Cooperation in space

Blinken also said the two nations will sign a new agreement on cooperation in space.

“This agreement has been a decade in the making. It covers everything from joint research to working together to land the first woman and person of color on the moon.

“The bottom line is this. We and our people are always stronger and more secure together,” said the US diplomat.