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U.S. Officials Decry ‘Coercion’ by China In Visit to Japan

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U.S. Officials Decry ‘Coercion’ by China In Visit to Japan

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken criticized China’s “destabilizing actions” in the Pacific during a visit to Tokyo on Tuesday.

We believe in democracy and human rights, the rule of law, because we’ve seen how our own countries are stronger, because we adhere to those values and because they are under threat in many places, including in this region. China uses coercion and aggression to systematically erode autonomy in Hong Kong, undercut democracy in Taiwan, abuse human rights and Xinjiang and Tibet, and assert maritime claims in the South China Sea that violate international law. We’re united in the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, where countries follow the rules, cooperate whenever they can and resolve their differences peacefully. And in particular, we will push back, if necessary, when China uses coercion or aggression to get its way. I know Japan shares our concerns with China’s destabilizing actions. And as I have said before, China is a pacing challenge for the Department of Defense. And we know that competing in today’s shifting global dynamics can only be done through the spirit of teamwork and cooperation, which are the hallmarks of our alliance with Japan.

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