China criticizes the historic deal: Australia and Japan have marked a historic defense agreement that would permit the two nations to reinforce military ties in the face of rising pressures with China.
The agreement is the first of its kind that Japan signed that covers the presence of foreign military forces in its region since the 1960 deal that enabled the United States to base troops, airplanes, and warships in Japan.
The defense agreement permits Japanese and Australian officials to visit each other’s nations for joint training and operations. Authorities have invested six years in negotiating this historic deal. Australian authorities stated that it was a historic accord between Japan-Australia.
The agreement was made in Tokyo between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his Australian partner, Scott Morrison. The deal needs a final affirmation from the Japanese parliament.
Morrison is the first world leader to be facilitated by Mr. Suga since he took office as Japan’s PM in September, says bilateral and diplomatic ties are important.
“Japan shares a very special relationship with Australia. It is not just a trade, economic, cultural, or social one. We together play a very important role in the Southwest Pacific region,” Morrison added.
Political analysts have stated that China’s increased decisiveness, including regional territorial disputes for the South China Sea and the ill-treatment of protestors in Hong Kong, would overwhelm private discussions between the Australian and Japanese leaders.
Chinese state media has condemned the Australia-Japan accord, saying it targets China and further adds to the already tense air in the Asia-Pacific region.
Canberra’s relationship with Beijing have weakened following charges of Chinese impedance in Australia’s internal political matters and requires an international investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, which was first identified in China in 2019.
China has imposed taxes on many Australian goods such as wine, agricultural products, and barley. However, China is Australia’s biggest trading partner, but Chinese authorities say that China-Australia relations are moving towards a sharp downturn.
“China has displayed strong disappointment and firm discontent towards the Japan-Australia summit”, the Foreign Ministry representative Zhao Lijian stated.