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Editorial: The U.S.’s China strategy – counter China while striving for coexistence

How should we engage with China? This difficult topic was the theme of a Cabinet-level meeting between Japan and U.S. We should not forget to strive for coexistence while countering China. For this purpose, solidarity among free states is necessary.

 

The joint statement of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee (2+2) of U.S. and Japanese foreign and defense ministers criticized China, saying that the two countries are opposed to “coercion and destabilizing behavior toward others in the region, which undermines the rules-based international system.”

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who attended the 2+2 meeting, will visit South Korea after Japan. Just prior to the 2+2 meeting, the U.S. called the first summit meeting of four countries in the Indo-Pacific – Japan, the U.S., Australia, and India – in online format.

 

The aim of the Biden administration, which is taking actions in rapid succession, is to align and reconcile its China policy with allies and friendly nations who share common values such as democracy, human rights, and rule of law.

 

The four-country summit meeting released a joint statement which said that the four countries are “united in a shared vision for the free and open Indo-Pacific.”

 

The Biden administration positions the four-country framework, called the “Quad,” as a basis for its Indo-Pacific policy.

 

India, whose traditional position is “nonaligned,” was reluctant to hold a summit meeting out of concern that the Quad might be interpreted as an “ encirclement of China.” It is significant that India was persuaded to participate in the meeting.

 

The Indo-Pacific must be a region for coexistence and mutual prosperity, not conflict. No party will profit if tensions rise in Asia, the growth center of the global economy. The Quad should take the role of being responsible for regional stability.

 

We welcome the Biden administration’s emphasis on alliances and coordinating views with allies. This is not an age where allies are forced to obey an exceptionally powerful U.S. We would like the U.S. and other nations to jointly formulate a China policy based on a long-term vision.

 

The U.S. and China’s struggle for hegemony in various sectors such as trade, military, and technology has been called the “new Cold War.” The Biden administration views China as its “most serious competitor.”

 

At the same time, the Biden administration indicates its posture on such global issues as climate change and infectious diseases is to cooperate with China.

 

We would like the U.S. to maintain a balance between “competition and cooperation.”

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