UPDATED 8:40 AM PT – Saturday, April 17, 2021
Joe Biden held his first face-to-face summit with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, with threats from China topping the agenda.
Biden hosted Suga at the White House on Friday. The two spoke about the increasing Chinese military presence in the Taiwan Strait, it’s tightening grip on Hong Kong and human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
I was honored to welcome Prime Minister Suga to the White House today as we usher in a new era of friendship between the U.S. and Japan. Both Pacific nations, we are also united by our shared commitment to the universal values of freedom, democracy, and human rights. pic.twitter.com/QJgbjNnceE
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 17, 2021
In a joint press conference following the talks, Biden said the meeting solidified a security alliance between the U.S. and Japan against the Communist nation.
“Today, Prime Minister Suga and I affirmed our ironclad support for U.S.-Japanese alliance and for our shared security,” Biden stated. “We committed to working together to take on the challenges from China and on issues like the East China Sea, the South China Sea.”
Biden also discussed plans to invest with Japan in areas such as 5G artificial intelligence and semiconductor supply chains in order to “sharpen our competitive edge.”
China’s foreign ministry spokesperson responded to the meeting by labeling it collusion between the U.S. and Japan.