PHNOM PENH (Kyodo) — The foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and Australia on Thursday shared serious concern about a “series of China’s military activities,” after Beijing began a live-fire drill following U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
During their meeting in Phnom Penh, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong also pledged to continue their close cooperation for the region’s peace and stability, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.
Earlier in the day, China started a large-scale military drill set to run through Sunday near Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a renegade province to be reunified with the mainland. The military activity came in response to Pelosi’s trip to the self-ruled democratic island earlier this week.
The three ministers met on the sidelines of a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations-related foreign ministerial gatherings from Wednesday through Friday in the Cambodian capital.
They agreed to promote their cooperation effectively through various frameworks involving like-minded nations toward the realization of a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” while reaffirming their support for an ASEAN initiative aimed at maintaining peace, freedom and prosperity, according to the ministry.
The three countries are all members of the Quad group, which also involves India.
Trilateral foreign ministerial talks between the three were held for the first time since Wong took office following Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s inauguration in late May.