US firms up Japan and South Korea security ties to counter China

  • The US is doubling down on aligning with Japan and South Korea to counter China amid escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing following the balloon saga.
  • Senior diplomats from the three countries met in Washington on 13 Feb to discuss plans to enhance their security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and the world.
  • The trilateral talks touched on the challenges posed by Beijing and the need to respond with unity at home and abroad.
  • The US has explicitly voiced that they will remain aligned with the ROK, Japan, other allies and partners worldwide to push back on the PRC’s behaviour that challenges the rules-based regional and international order.
  • Furthermore, the US will continue to counter the PRC’s destabilising activities in the South and East China seas, and keep working for maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
  • Both Japan and South Korea voiced their support on 13 Feb for the US response to the Chinese balloon incident.
  • However, as tensions simmer over the incidents, US President Joe Biden has insisted that the bilateral relationship has not been significantly damaged and that alongside Tokyo and Seoul, Washington would collaborate with Beijing where possible and vital to international security, such as on climate issues, global health, narcotics and non-proliferation, among other areas.

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