Four Foreign Ministers’ Meeting: Each Country’s Movement over China October 6, 8:20 p.m.
We have summarized the movements of each country over China in four countries: Japan, the United States, Australia, and India.
In the U.S.,
The Trump administration in the United States has made clear its stance to counter both military and diplomatic issues, hitting China’s growing military presence in the East and South China Seas by riding on the chaos of the global spread of the new coronavirus.
As for the U.S. military, the Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt was sailing in the Pacific Ocean, and in March, a outbreak of the new Coronavirus forced a de facto suspension of activity for about two months.
An advisory body in the U.S. Congress expressed concern that “China is under increasing military pressure on Taiwan while the world is concerned about the new coronavirus,” saying that the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning sailed around Taiwan in April.
In July, the Chinese Navy conducted unusual military exercises in the East China Sea, the South China Sea, and the Yellow Sea at the same time, while the U.S. Navy also dispatched two nuclear-powered aircraft carriers to the South China Sea in July to conduct military exercises.
It is unusual for the United Nations and China to conduct large-scale military exercises in the same waters at the same time.
In August of the following year, The Chinese military fired four medium-range ballistic missiles toward the South China Sea, heighting military tensions between the United States and China over China’s threatening actions.
Shortly after this, the United States dispatched U.S. destroyers to the waters of the Xisha And Paraser Islands in the South China Sea, which China claims, to make it clear that it will not take a step back from China.
The United States has also set out its stance against China on the diplomatic front.
The Trump administration has changed its position in the South China Sea, which it has so far sought to encourage a resolution between the two countries in the dispute. In July, Secretary Pompeo issued a statement that it was “completely illegal” for China to assert its interests in almost the entire South China Sea, and set out a new policy to support and counter China’s claims of illegal territorial rights, including those of the Philippines.
In addition, the Trump administration is strongly controlling China in a way that strengthens relations with Taiwan, where China is under increasing pressure.
Following Mr. Azar’s visit to Taiwan as the highest-ranking ministerial official since 1979, when the U.S. and Taiwan cut diplomatic relations in August, The State Department’s highest-ranking undersecretary, Mr. Crack, visited Taiwan last month to meet with President Ban English.
Following the decision to sell tanks and fighter jets to Taiwan last year, U.S. media say the Trump administration is making unusual plans to sell seven types of weapons at once, including drones and cruise missiles.
In addition, the U.S. military is accelerating the pace of military dispatch around Taiwan by allowing naval vessels to pass through the Taiwan Strait and air force transport aircraft to fly over Taiwan in response to the chinese military’s active moves around Taiwan.
Australia wants to strengthen cooperation with the three countries in a wide range of areas, from security to the economy, as its alliance with the United States is the basis for its foreign policy and relations with China rapidly cool.
Relations with China quickly cooled four years ago in 2016 when an Australian lawmaker, funded by a Chinese company, made remarks about the South China Sea.
In April, Prime Minister Morrison called for an independent investigation into the sources of the new coronavirus, while China, which has come under increasing opposition, launched a series of counter-measures, including a suspension of imports of some meat products from Australia.
While relations with China have cooled, Australia has strengthened its security cooperation with the United States, and the foreign and defense ministerial talks held in July showed the position that China’s claims in the South China Sea would not be recognized.
On the economic front, Australia, Japan, and India’s economic minister held a video conference in September and agreed to strengthen the supply system in the Indo-Pacific region, based on the impact of the spread of the new coronavirus on the supply chain of automotive parts, medical supplies, and other products that are highly dependent on China and other countries.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Morrison held his first telephone meeting with Prime Minister Kan as a foreign leader in September, and has shown an emphasis on Japan, such as promoting coordination by visiting Japan soon.
Ashley Townshend of the Center for American Studies at the University of Sydney, who is familiar with foreign policy in the Indo-Pacific region, said of the foreign ministers’ meeting of the four countries that “China has diplomatic challenges with all four countries, and cooperation between the four countries has never been more important.”
In particular, australia, which has rapidly cooled relations with China, is against joining the meeting, he said: “In order not to succumb to Chinese pressure, we must secure a stable supply chain. Australia can lead to its own economic development by strengthening economic partnerships with the three countries.”
As for Australia’s relationship with Japan, he said, “While China continues to take a hard line, the Trump administration in the United States has not shown an attitude of international cooperation. Australia-Japan cooperation is particularly important in the diplomatic strategy of both countries,” he said, stressing that Australia and Japan must cooperate in stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
India has traditionally had a diplomatic policy of not being biased towards a particular country, known as “non-alliance” or “strategic independence,” but recently it has deepened its relationship with the three countries on the security front against the backdrop of tensions with China.
In addition to the Chinese military’s growing maritime expansion in the Indian Ocean, 20 people on the Indian side were killed in Clashes between the two sides in a disputed zone on the Indian-Chinese border region in June.
It is the first time in 45 years that India has been killed in clashes with China, and while the talk has continued, tensions continue.
Against the backdrop of tensions with China, India has strengthened its security relationship with Japan, the United States and Australia, and in September, Japan signed an agreement with Japan to provide food and fuel to each other, including food and fuel.
In addition, we regularly hold “2 plus 2” ministerial consultations on foreign affairs and defense with the United States, and we are expanding our defense cooperation with Australia with the aim of a “free and open Indo-Pacific.”
The Indian Navy, the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the U.S. Navy regularly conduct joint drills in Malabar, and the immediate focus will be on whether Australia will participate in the drills for the first time in the future.
In addition, India is moving to aim for “decoupling, which means “detaching” its economic relationship with China, which it has relied heavily on so far.
These developments have become clearer as anti-China nationalism has increased in the country as a result of the spread of the new coronavirus and military clashes near the border.
In the past six months, the Modi administration has effectively restricted direct investment from China to India, excluding security and other areas, under the government’s approval system, and banned the use of smartphone apps in the country, such as TikTok, a video app provided by a Chinese company.
In response to the spread of the new coronavirus, which has made its supply chain of automotive parts and other products highly dependent on China and other countries, India is pushing countries and companies to move its manufacturing bases from China to India.
Srikant Kondaari, a professor at Jawaharlal Nehr University who studies diplomatic relations between India and China, points out that India’s diplomatic stance “has changed due to pressure from China over disputed areas near the border, although non-alliances used to be India’s basic policy of diplomacy.”
On that basis, he said of the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, “India wants the four-nation framework to exert pressure on China. It is the same for the United States, Japan, and Australia, which have similar security issues with China,” he said, recognizing that the importance of this framework is increasing for each country.