Harris and Kishida Affirm ‘Ironclad Commitment’ to Counter CCP Aggression in Taiwan Strait

During a Sept. 26 meeting between U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, the two leaders affirmed their nations’ support for one another and condemned Chinese communist aggression in the Taiwan Strait.

“The Vice President underscored that the U.S.–Japan Alliance is the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific, and they discussed efforts to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the White House said in a statement.

Harris is in Japan this week to lead the U.S. delegation for the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in July.

Abe was widely regarded as one of the foremost champions of the U.S.–Japan alliance. He was hailed as a defender of democracy for his efforts to design and implement the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between Japan, the United States, Australia, and India—colloquially referred to as the “Quad.”

“The Vice President praised former Prime Minister Abe as a champion of the U.S.–Japan Alliance and a free and open Indo-Pacific, and affirmed the United States’ commitment to continue building on that legacy,” the White House statement reads.

The White House statement noted that Harris affirmed the U.S. “ironclad commitment” to maintain Japan’s national defense and to counter “China’s aggressive and irresponsible provocations in the Taiwan Strait.”

Harris to Lead Regional Mission

Harris’s visit to Japan comes a week after President Joe Biden said the United States would militarily defend Taiwan from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which rules China as a single-party state.

The statement outraged the CCP, which maintains a “One China” principle that alleges that Taiwan is a breakaway province of China. The regime has vowed to unite the island with the mainland by any means necessary, and it has repeatedly threatened to use military force to achieve this goal.

Taiwan is a self-governing democracy and has never been controlled by the CCP.

The United States maintains a “One China” policy, which formally recognizes but doesn’t endorse the CCP’s “One China” principle. Despite having no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the United States is legally bound to provide the island nation with the arms necessary to defend itself.

Although the CCP may claim that Biden’s statement was controversial, Japan has long committed its troops to the defense of Taiwan from a CCP invasion and is working to place special units on an island near Taiwan for that eventuality.

Japan, US conduct first anti-submarine warfare exercise in South China Sea
Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force submarine and a U.S. Navy destroyer are pictured in their first joint anti-submarine drill in the South China Sea on Nov. 16, 2021. (The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force)

White House aides said Harris would work to build a unified approach with Japan to counter the CCP’s challenges in the region.

Taiwan Conflict Would Be ‘Devastating’

The Harris–Kishida meeting also comes just days after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his CCP counterpart, Wang Yi, on the sidelines of a U.N. summit in New York.

“The Secretary made crystal clear that, in accordance with our long-standing one-China policy, which again has not changed, the maintenance of peace and stability across the Strait is absolutely, vitally important,” a White House official said of the meeting.

Blinken expanded on the issue during a Sep. 25 interview on “60 Minutes.”

“China has acted increasingly aggressively when it comes to Taiwan,” Blinken said, according to CBS News. “That poses a threat to peace and stability in the entire region.”

He also said a conflict between the CCP and Taiwan would be “devastating” and have global ramifications because of the two nations’ vital importance to the global economy, particularly in the production of semiconductor chips.

To that end, Blinken said the United States was reacting to the CCP’s unilateral effort to change the status quo regarding Taiwan, something that both nations have pledged to not do.

“We had a conversation about our different approaches to Taiwan, and I reiterated what the president has said, and what he’s said clearly and consistently,” Blinken said.

“Our continued adherence to the One China Policy, our determination that the differences [between the CCP and Taiwan] be resolved peacefully, our insistence that peace and stability be maintained in the Taiwan Straits, and our deep concern that China was taking actions to try to change that status quo. That’s what the issue is.”

From The Epoch Times

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