US V-P Kamala Harris, Japanese leader Kishida condemn China's actions in Taiwan Strait

US Vice-President Kamala Harris and Japan's PM Fumio Kishida during the Japan-USA bilateral meeting in Tokyo on Sept 26. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON - US Vice-President Kamala Harris reaffirmed the United States' commitment to Japan's defence during a meeting on Monday with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo in which they condemned China's actions in the Taiwan Strait.

"They discussed the People's Republic of China's recent aggressive and irresponsible provocations in the Taiwan Strait, and reaffirmed the importance of preserving peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," the White House said in a statement.

Ms Harris’ trip to Asia, which will include a stop in South Korea, comes days after Chinese officials were roiled by an explicit pledge by US President Joe Biden to defend the Chinese-claimed Taiwan.

China sees Taiwan as one of its provinces. Beijing has long vowed to peacefully reunify Taiwan but has not ruled out the use of force to do so.

Taiwan’s democratic government strongly objects to China’s sovereignty claims and says only the island’s 23 million people can decide its future.

Ms Harris, who will lead the US delegation to the state funeral of slain former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also discussed North Korea’s recent ballistic missile test with Mr Kishida, as well the importance of resolving the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea, the statement said. REUTERS

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