Japan, Australia’s new defense agreement sends a message to China: analyst

A senior analyst at an Australian think tank said on Friday that the new defense agreement between Australia and Japan sends a strong message to China that the two countries will work closely to ensure stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida almost met with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday.This The two countries sign a mutually beneficial access agreement (RAA) will go through the necessary domestic procedures before it becomes effective “as soon as possible.”

Malcolm Davis of the Australian Institute for Strategic Policy said the agreement will pave the way for closer defense relations between the two countries, because the Japanese and Australian forces can deploy from each other’s bases and establish a mutual agreement.

Davis at CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.”

“This is happening in the context of the rise of China. China has territorial disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea. Japan and China have territorial disputes. Of course, they are more confident and even aggressive in these areas. Taiwan,” he added.

On January 6, 2022, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison presented a document at a virtual summit held in Canberra with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

AFP | Getty Images

“I fully expect the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue some brief statements in Beijing,” Davis said, referring to China’s possible response to the Australia-Japan defense agreement, which has been in place for many years.

He added: “They won’t like this, but frankly, we make our defense policy choices based on Australia’s needs rather than what China is satisfied with.”

What is the Indo-Pacific region?

China’s influence continues to increase

Beijing has Getting more aggressive in the East China Sea and South China Sea in recent years.

Last year, the president Xi Jinping swear “Peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, Which caused an angry response from the latter.

China sees Taiwan as a separate province, while Taiwan sees itself as separate from China and has been an autonomous island since it split from the mainland after a prolonged civil war in 1949.

Davis of ASPI told CNBC that a big issue is that China may take certain actions against Taiwan-and the existing security agreements and arrangements in the Indo-Pacific region may “enhance the credibility of deterrence.”

Some political analysts said that the growing tension between the United States and China on the Taiwan issue will be The biggest risk in Asia this year.

In terms of economy, China is The world’s largest trade agreement, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Including many countries in the Indo-Pacific region.Beijing too Lobbying to join another large trade agreement In that part of the world.

The United States does not participate in these two trade agreements.

China also has an ambitious plan called the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, which aims to build physical and digital infrastructure connecting hundreds of countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, and to expand China’s influence in these regions.

Chin of the Milken Institute explained that although most of the discussion revolves around how other countries are responding to a rising China, it is important to also look at the problems that the country faces at home.

This includes its efforts to contain the Covid outbreak and its efforts to get the economy back on track- Economists worried Problems in the real estate market and weak consumption may affect China’s growth prospects.

However, Chin stated that he hopes that by 2022, all parties involved will “take a step back and realize that this is [to] If what some people call the emerging cold war turns into a hot war in the Asia-Pacific region, it will not benefit anyone. “

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