Taiwan, Japan urged to ‘stand together’ as China threat prompts security talks

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By John Feng- Originally published by Newsweek

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Editor’s Note: Center Senior Fellow Grant Newsham was quoted in this piece by John Feng on Japan and Taiwan’s military cooperation

Taiwan and Japan must “stand together and jointly respond” to possible retaliation by Beijing, a Taiwanese lawmaker has said after mutual concerns about China‘s growing military presence prompted the ruling parties of both countries to hold groundbreaking discussions about regional security last week.

Billed as semi-official “2+2” talks between Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the closed-door dialogue took place via video link on August 27 and marked a significant elevation in one of Asia’s most culturally simpatico relationships to involve exchanges about defense cooperation, too.

Experts say China’s military pressure against Japan, but especially Taiwan, drove the LDP to initiate the landmark meeting, which many wouldn’t have thought possible as little as five years ago, given Tokyo’s lack of formal diplomatic ties with Taipei and Beijing’s penchant to protest even the most benign of gestures toward the democratic island.

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