US Looking to Japan, South Korea Allies to Assist in Resisting China’s Expansion

FILE - US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) meets with South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong in Honolulu, Hawaii, Feb. 12, 2022.

VOA – SAN FRANCISCO — February 15, 2022 1:40 PM

Discussion of Taiwan at weekend talks involving Japan, South Korea and the United States, analysts say, could be seen as a signal U.S. President Joe Biden aims to broaden the network of Asia-Pacific countries that could resist China’s expansion.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa Hayashi and Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong emphasized in a joint statement “the importance” of peace and stability in the strait that divides Taiwan from China.

The joint statement from the weekend meeting in Hawaii also condemned North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches and expressed “shared concern about activities that undermine the rules-based international order.”

The U.S. side brought up Taiwan to rally more forces behind its defense for the self-ruled island that China claims as its own and insists eventually on ruling, said Leif-Eric Easley, associate professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul.

“Such multilateral efforts aim to reassure Taipei and deter further coercion by Beijing,” Easley said. “In order to prevent conflict escalation in Asia, U.S. allies actually need to prepare for contingencies of Chinese aggression.”

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