United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on March 16 warned China against using “coercion and aggression” as he sought to use his first abroad trip since joining President Joe Biden’s administration to stir up Asian alliances in the face of Beijing’s growing authoritative regime. With already mounting threats on Taiwan on hindering Hong Kong’s promised-democracy, recently, China has also begun its extensive territorial claims in the East and South China Seas which have also become the top issue in an increasingly disputed Sino-US relationship and essential security concern for Japan.
“We will push back, if necessary when China uses coercion and aggression to get its way,” Blinken said in a joint press conference US Secretary of Defence with the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Motegi and Minister of Defense Kishi during 2+2 meeting.
US Secretary of State’s remarks came as he visited Tokyo along with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in the first overseas visit by top members of the Biden administration. In a statement issued with their Japanese counterparts, Blinken and Austin “acknowledged that China’s behaviour, where inconsistent with the existing international order, presents political, economic, military, and technological challenges to the Alliance and to the international community.”
The joint statement added, “The Ministers [US and Japan] committed to opposing coercion and destabilizing behaviour toward others in the region, which undermines the rules-based international system. They reaffirmed their support for unimpeded lawful commerce and respect for international law, including freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea.”
US Secretary of State’s remarks against China came just before his upcoming meetings in Alaska on Thursday which will also mark for the first time senior Biden administration officials and Chinese counterparts to discuss the staggering ties between the world’s two of the top economies.
Raising concerns over Beijing’s assertiveness, earlier, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg has called for the United States and the European Union (EU) to swiftly amend their alliance in order to deal will the bullying of countries all "over the world" by China. While addressing the EU parliament committees on security and foreign affairs, NATO chief on March 15 (local time) said that the intergovernmental military alliance should work with partners in the Asia-Pacific region if it aims at stopping a “more aggressive: and “threatening” Beijing.