US, Japan and South Korea announce closer cooperation and criticize China at summit

Criticism of China, more military cooperation and a ‘hotline’ for threat cases. These include the results of a summit meeting between the United States, Japan and South Korea, international news agencies report. On Friday, the leaders of the three countries gathered at the Camp David presidential retreat in the US state of Maryland.

The summit “wasn’t about China,” said US President Joe Biden after the summit meeting, accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol. It was, however, about “peace and security in the entire region”, the AP news agency quotes from the final statement. The leaders have agreed annual consultations between, among others, the heads of government, defense ministers and ministers of trade and industry.

China’s criticism focused on “unilateral efforts to change the status quo in Indo-Pacific waters.” It amounts to an accusation of land grabbing in the South China Sea, which China claims almost in its entirety, while countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam also claim it. The US, Japan and South Korea spoke of “dangerous and aggressive behavior”.

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