After a tumultuous four years under Donald Trump, Joe Biden will be the next U.S. president, bringing with him a whole new set of foreign policy goals. But how will these affect Japan? And with so many domestic issues to fix at home, how much time will Biden have to devote to America’s allies? Deep Dive’s Oscar Boyd speaks with Sheila A. Smith, a senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations to get her take on what a Biden presidency might mean for Japan going forward — and the growing pressure of an increasingly assertive China.
Speaking of China, the country’s foreign minister caused a stir last week in Tokyo over remarks during a joint news conference in which he claimed Beijing’s sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Those remarks reverberated into criticism directed at Japan’s top diplomat, Toshimitsu Motegi, later in the week, with Motegi being lambasted for taking no apparent action during the news conference.
Motegi on Friday rejected Wang’s remarks as “totally unacceptable,” reiterating before the Japan’s parliament Tokyo’s stance that the flashpoint islets are Japan’s “inherent territory historically and under international law.”
China’s “Wolf Warriors” diplomats have caused a stir, with one posting a provocative tweet depicting an Australian soldier holding a bloody knife to an Afghan child’s throat after a report published last week found Australian special forces allegedly killed 39 unarmed prisoners and civilians in Afghanistan.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called the tweet “repugnant” and demanded an apology, as his country continues to digest the report in which senior commandos reportedly forced junior soldiers to kill defenseless captives in order to “blood” them for combat.
While the Wolf Warrior rhetoric is increasingly driven by concerns at home, the more aggressive tone is one facet of a changing diplomatic landscape, one that has grown more combative after four years of Donald Trump. But as Biden looks to unite U.S. allies, China’s aggressive approach risks backfiring, Bloomberg reports.