Japan, US warn of China’s ‘destabilizing behavior’

Tokyo, Mar 16 (efe-epa).- The United States and Japan Tuesday denounced China’s “destabilizing behavior” in the region and alleged that Beijing’s conduct was inconsistent with the international order.

The two sides condemned the Chinese military activities in the Pacific region, the situation in Hong Kong and of the Uighur minority in the troubled Xinjiang region and .

In a joint statement at the end of their meeting in Tokyo, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and their Japanese counterparts Toshimitsu Motegi and Nobuo Kishi said they oppose “coercion and destabilising behaviour towards others in the region.”

“China’s behavior, where inconsistent with the existing international order, presents political, economic, military and technological challenges,” they said.

The top diplomatic and defense officials met in Tokyo under the framework of the so-called two-plus-two security talks.

They expressed concerns over a law that allows Chinese coast guard ships to fire on vessels around the Beijing-claimed group of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea.

“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 joint statement said.

Secretary of State Blinken said the values of democracy were “under threat” in Myanmar and China.

In an address at the start of his meeting with Minister Motegi, Blinken said the regional situation was one of the main challenges facing the Tokyo-Washington alliance in the Indo-Pacific.

“We are also standing together in support of our shared values. We believe in democracy, human rights, and rule of law,” Blinken said.

The top US diplomat said the shared values make the US and Japan stronger.

“They are under threat in many places, including in the region – in Burma (Myanmar) or whether in different ways in China.

“But what brings us together, I think, is a shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and we will work together as allies and friends to help achieve it.”

He accused China of using coercion and aggression to “systematically erode economy in Hong Kong, undermine democracy in Taiwan, violate human rights in Xinjiang.”

Blinken said China was carrying maritime activities in the South China Sea in violation of international laws.

“We would push back if necessary when China uses coercive actions to get way,” he warned.

Austin, in his address to the media, said the two sides remained focused on the Middle East in the last decade while China modernized its military and engaged in “aggressive and sometimes coercive behavior.”

“Our goal is to make sure that we maintain a competitive edge over China or anyone else that present a threat to our alliance.”

The Japanese foreign minister said they were committed to strengthening the Japan-US alliance and its response and deterrence capability.

The two sides also discussed in detail the situation in North Korea and its de-nuclearization of North Korea.

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