United States, Japan and India have decided to coordinate policies in addressing China’s increasing maritime activities.
This decision was taken in first Japan-US-India trilateral meeting held in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting.
It was attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
- In the meeting, Japan has expressed strong concerns over China’s rapid ongoing unilateral activities which aim at changing the status quo in the South China Sea.
- Japan also mentioned that China’s massive land reclamation projects followed by construction of a facility including for military purposes have further heightened tensions.
- In the meeting, all 3 nations agreed that the rule of law should be observed and all international disputes should be settled peacefully to maintain peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Three parties also agreed to launch a trilateral meeting of experts in order to enable joint rescue and relief efforts in the event of major disasters.
From the US perspective, the first Japan-US-India trilateral meeting is seen as part of its “pivot” toward Asia policy to counterbalance China’s influence in Southeast Asia and in case for India it is considered as part of its ambitious Act East Asia Policy.
- Currently, China is involved in numerous territorial and maritime disputes with countries in South China Sea including Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Philippines and Taiwan.
- In response to China’s unilateral actions, US has asked it to immediately halt its land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea.