Japan official, calling Taiwan ‘red line,’ urges B+iden to ‘be strong’

Date: December 25, 20205
By: Ju-min Park

FILE PHOTO: Japan’s then-State Minister for Foreign Affairs Yasuhide Nakayama speaks during the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism at the State Department in Washington February 19, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) – A top Japanese defence official on Friday urged U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to “be strong” in supporting Taiwan in the face of an aggressive China, calling the island’s safety a “red line.”

“We are concerned China will expand its aggressive stance into areas other than Hong Kong. I think one of the next targets, or what everyone is worried about, is Taiwan,” State Minister of Defense Yasuhide Nakayama told Reuters.

In an interview, Nakayama, Japan’s deputy defence minister, urged Biden to take a similar line on Taiwan as outgoing President Donald Trump, who has significantly boosted military sales to the Chinese-claimed island and increased engagement.

Japan’s engagement with Taiwan has also flourished in recent years on a largely non-governmental basis. Tokyo maintains a “one China” policy, delicately balancing its relationships with neighbouring giant China and its longtime military ally in Washington.

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