Japan and other US Pacific allies are ready to resist China's pressure

Japan and other US Pacific allies are ready to resist China's pressure

Japan and other US Pacific allies are ready to resist the pressure of China

Joint air maneuvers of the US Air Force and Taiwan  

Western allies in the Indo-Pacific express concern over Chinese military exercises around Taiwan and desire to strengthen ties with NATO 

On Thursday, China began a five-day live-fire military exercise in seven zones surrounding Taiwan, apparently in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taipei earlier in the week. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory. The Chinese People's Liberation Army said the exercise would be a rehearsal for imposing a naval and air blockade.

Japan said five missiles landed in its exclusive economic zone around the islands it claims, near Taiwan.

p> “Five Chinese missiles hit the Japanese EEZ – this is the first time. We strongly protest [using] all diplomatic channels,” Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters on Thursday.

Nancy Pelosi arrived in Tokyo on Friday on the last leg of her tour of the region and, along with several other US lawmakers, met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The two allied nations pledged to work together to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, a key shipping route.

This month, the Japan Defense Forces will take part in the Garuda Shield military exercise in Indonesia for the first time along with the United States, Australia and Singapore, signaling stronger ties with regional and NATO allies. In addition, Japan, South Korea and Australia have already attended the NATO summit in Madrid in June.

Ryo Sahashi, Associate Professor of International Politics at the University of Tokyo, told VOA, “We must forge a great partnership to fight back not only Russia, but also China's ambitions.”

“C From this point of view, our partnership with NATO is very important for our own strategy in the Indo-Pacific region,” he added.

The threat from China also contributes to closer ties between NATO members and their Asian allies, said Tetsuo Kotani , professor of global studies at Meikai University and senior fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs.

“Here in Asia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand welcome a stronger European commitment to [stability] in the region. And more recently, after the change of government, South Korea also rushed to strengthen ties with Europe,” Kotani told Voice of America