Suga, Biden Mention Taiwan in Joint Statement
Washington, April 16 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and U.S. President Joe Biden underscored "the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait" in a joint statement released after their first meeting at the White House on Friday.
The two leaders also encouraged "the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues," apparently mindful of increasing Chinese military activities in the region.
A reference to Taiwan by Japanese and U.S. leaders in a written format is the first since the 1969 joint statement issued by then Japanese Prime Minister Eisaku Sato and then U.S. President Richard Nixon. The latest statement is expected to provoke a backlash from China.
Suga and Biden held a tete-a-tete, joined only by interpreters, for some 20 minutes, before moving into a small group meeting and an expanded session. The series of talks lasted about two and a half hours in total. For Biden, it was the first time to meet a foreign national leader in person since the president took office in January.
The two leaders agreed to oppose any attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion in the East and South China Seas and intimidation of others in the region.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]