Biden, Suga to issue joint statement touching on Taiwan: U.S. official

04/16/2021 12:38 PM
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United States President Joe Biden (left) and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga / Photo courtesy of Kyodo News
United States President Joe Biden (left) and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga / Photo courtesy of Kyodo News

Washington, April 15 (CNA) United States President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will release a joint statement, calling for peace and stability to be maintained in the Taiwan Strait, after their summit meeting on Friday, according to a senior U.S. official.

At the meeting, which is Biden's first with a foreign leader, the discussions are expected to cover a wide range of topics, including COVID-19, economic recovery, climate change and regional security.

The leaders will also discuss China and the role that the U.S. and Japan can play in lowering tensions and discouraging any provocations in the Taiwan Strait, the official said in a phone call with reporters.

"You've seen a series of statements out of both the United States and Japan on cross-Strait circumstances, on Taiwan, on our desire for the maintenance of peace and security and preserving the status quo," said the official, who asked not to be named. "And I expect that you will see both a formal statement and consultations on these matters."

The statement is not intended to raise tensions with Beijing, the official said, adding that the U.S. recognizes Japan's close economic ties with China and respects its desire to approach the issue carefully.

However, the statement will send "a clear signal" that some of China's actions, including its frequent military maneuvers around Taiwan, are not conducive to the goal of advancing peace and stability, according to the official.

The joint statement will also outline steps that the U.S. and Japan can take to diversify their supply chains, support alternatives to the Huawei 5G network, and protect their technology, the official said.

The leaders' summit comes amid a period of increased U.S. tensions with China over Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a part of its territory.

This week, Biden sent a delegation to Taiwan, led by former Senator Chris Dodd, in what an official in his administration described as a "personal signal" of the president's commitment to Taiwan's security.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Matthew Mazzetta)

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