Suga was the first foreign leader to visit Biden, who took office in January. China may be high on the agenda during the summits. Biden then said, “We have agreed to work together to meet the challenges of China.” He cordially called his Japanese colleague “Yoshi”.
In their closing communiqué, the Allies spoke of the need for “frank talks” with China. They advanced there right away. There are “grave concerns” about the human rights situation in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, where observers say the Uyghurs are being repressed. The leaders also criticized China’s activities in the South China Sea, which Beijing almost entirely claimed was the anger of neighboring countries.
“We want to oppose any attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China Sea by force or coercion,” Suga said through an interpreter. The prime minister has also spoken against the “intimidation” of other countries in the region. By the way, the leaders talked not only about China, but also cooperation in areas such as climate policy.
The joint statement came as the leaders got in a bad position with China. The Chinese Embassy in the United States felt that Biden and Suga’s comments went far beyond what would be expected from normal bilateral talks. The diplomatic post said Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan are China’s internal affairs, and foreigners should not interfere.