Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Diplomacy between Japan and Asean seen as challenging

Japan’s diplomacy with Asean is seen to have become more challenging following the tensions that were precipitated by United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visit to Taiwan recently. Southeast Asia is seen as a region at the forefront of rivalry between Japan and China, but Asean is known for its principle of neutrality toward major powers, and its dialogue partners. According to a report in Kyodo News, some international relations experts said Tokyo should not try to pressure Asean into its camp if it wants to maintain a relationship of mutual trust with the 10-member group. The recent Asean foreign ministerial meeting in Phnom Penh, that also saw China, Japan, Russia and the United States participating in other sessions, is seen by some as a showdown between the world powers. (https://www.msn.com/en-my/news/national/challenging-diplomacy-between-japan-and-asean/ar-AA10u2cZ) Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan had China reacting furiously as Beijing considers it part of China. The Chinese reactions included the launch of a four-day, large-scale live-fire military drill near Taiwan using ballistic missiles, some of which fell into Japan’s exclusive economic zone. In an apparent protest at Japan’s siding with the core of the Western alliance over Taiwan and Ukraine, the Chinese and Russian foreign ministers — Wang Yi and Sergey Lavrov — had left their seats by the time their Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi spoke at a parallel session of the East Asia Summit last Friday. China had also canceled one-to-one talks between Wang and Hayashi shortly before they were supposed to meet in the Cambodian capital.

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