WASHINGTON: Long-time allies the United States and Japan launched a new high-level economic dialogue on Friday (Jul 29) aimed at pushing back against China and countering the disruption caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The two countries agreed to establish a new joint research center for next-generation semiconductors during the so-called economic “two-plus-two” ministerial meeting in Washington, Japanese Trade Minister Koichi Hagiuda said.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Hagiuda also discussed energy and food security, the officials said in a press briefing.
“As the world’s first- and third- largest economies, it is critical that we work together to defend the rules-based economic order, one in which all countries can participate, compete and prosper,” Blinken told the opening session.
Blinken said recent world events, including COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, had shown the vulnerability of critical supply chains, while a growing number of countries were struggling with debt burdens due to unsustainable and non-transparent lending practices.
“The coercive and retaliatory economic practices of the People’s Republic of China force countries into choices that compromise their security, their intellectual property, their economic independence,” he said.
Japan’s Hayashi called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a serious challenge to the international order and – in an apparent reference to China, though he did not name it directly – referred to attempts “to use economic influence unfairly and opaquely to realise … strategic interests and to modify the existing international order”.