U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on April 16 agreed to further their cooperation across regional security, technology and other areas, committing to an alliance that will face up to the challenges posed by China.
In their first in-person meeting during Biden’s presidency, the two also affirmed the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, Suga said at their joint news conference in a reference that is sure to upset Beijing, which views the self-ruled island as its most sensitive territorial issue.
Their view was also mentioned in a joint statement issued after the summit, in what can be seen as a rare public expression of leader-level concern on the situation regarding Taiwan, with the last such reference dating back to 1969.
Suga is the first foreign leader invited to the White House for talks with Biden since he took office in January as the United States seeks to enlist allies and like-minded countries to counter China’s heightened economic and military assertiveness.
“We committed to working together to take on the challenges from China and on issues like the East China Sea, the South China Sea, as well as North Korea, to ensure a future of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Biden said at the joint news conference. (Kyodo)