US President-elect Joe Biden in phone calls with the leaders of Australia, Japan and South Korea on Thursday emphasised on maintaining a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. According to foreign media reports, Joe Biden declared that US security guarantees apply to Japan’s administration of the disputed Senkaku Islands, in the President-elect’s first significant foreign policy move related to China.
China’s reiterates its stance on Senkaku Islands
Irked by Biden’s move, China has reacted sharply to remarks made by the US President-elect on the US commitment to helping Japan defend the Senkaku Islands. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin reiterated his government’s position, claiming that the islands are inherently Chinese territory. He further termed the 1960 Japan-US security treaty a ‘product of the Cold War’. According to ANI, Wang also urged the two countries not to hurt the interests of third parties as well as endanger peace and stability in the region.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he and Biden during their call reaffirmed the importance of their countries’ alliances and agreed to further deepen it in face of China’s growing influence and North Korea’s nuclear threat. “We had a very meaningful telephone conversation as I will work with President-elect Biden to push forward measures to strengthen the Japan-US alliance,” Suga told reporters after speaking to Biden on the phone for about 15 minutes.