According to the US Secretary of State, Beijing is making “efforts to undermine the enduring status quo that has maintained peace and stability for decades.”
The US and Japan perceive Beijing as the “greatest shared strategic challenge,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday, quoted by Politico.
Within the framework of the meeting of the foreign and defense ministers, Washington and Tokyo agreed to establish a rapid reaction unit of the Marine Corps, capable of launching anti-ship missiles, and equipped with advanced intelligence and reconnaissance means, on the Japanese island of Okinawa. . According to Blinken, the move is necessary to deter China, which is making “efforts to undermine the enduring status quo that has maintained peace and stability for decades.”
In addition, the Secretary of State welcomed Japan’s initiative to double its military spending by 2027, collects Reuters.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also explained that the Marine Corps unit’s deployment, which is expected to be completed by 2025, “will strengthen deterrence in the region and allow us to defend Japan and its people more effectively in an increasingly challenging security environment”, calling the unit the “most versatile, mobile and resistant”. However, the number of US troops on Japanese soil will not increase because the new unit will replace the one currently deployed.
Meanwhile, Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada called Beijing the “biggest and unprecedented strategic challenge.” He also expressed concern about “enhanced military cooperation” between China and Russia, referring to the joint maritime exercises that took place last December. “Japan and the US will remain united in raising objections against China’s attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea,” Hamada added.