President-elect Biden should be firm in supporting Taiwan against Chinese aggression, a top Japanese defense official urged Friday, emphasizing that Taiwan’s safety is a red line.
“We are concerned China will expand its aggressive stance into areas other than Hong Kong. I think one of the next targets, or what everyone is worried about, is Taiwan,” the Japanese State Minister of Defense Yasuhide Nakayama. on Friday, told Reuters.
Nakayama, Japan’s deputy defense minister, hoped Biden would maintain a similar stance on Taiwan like outgoing President Donald Trump, who had increased military sales to the island country, whose control China claims. Trump had also increased American engagement with Taiwan during his tenure, Reuters reported. This move had brought the United States and China to further tensions.
“So far, I haven’t yet seen a clear policy or an announcement on Taiwan from Joe Biden. I would like to hear it quickly, then we can also prepare our response on Taiwan in accordance,” Nakayama added, according to Reuters.
President-elect Biden tweeted in January that the US “should continue strengthening our ties with Taiwan and other like-minded democracies.”
Congratulations to President Tsai and the people of Taiwan for another successful election. You are stronger because of your free and open society. The United States should continue strengthening our ties with Taiwan and other like-minded democracies. https://t.co/NAt6ldYpRj
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 11, 2020
In recent years, Japanese interaction with Taiwan has also risen on a mostly informal basis, though Japan maintains a “one-China policy,” as a means to balance “delicately” its ties to neighboring China and the United States (US), Reuters reported. Japan and Taiwan share common strategic interests because Taiwan sits on shipping lanes crucial to Japanese economic interests.