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Tensions Grow as US, Allies Deepen Indo-Pacific Involvement

Tensions Grow as US, Allies Deepen Indo-Pacific Involvement
folder_openAsia-Pacific... access_timeone month ago
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By Staff, Agencies

With increasingly strong talk in support of Taiwan, a new deal to supply Australia with nuclear submarines, and the launch of a European strategy for greater engagement in the Indo-Pacific, the US and its allies are becoming growingly assertive in their approach toward a rising China.

China has bristled at the moves, and the growing tensions between Beijing and Washington prompted UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the weekend to implore US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping to repair their "completely dysfunctional" relationship, warning they risk dividing the world.

As the UN General Assembly opened Tuesday, both leaders chose calming language, with Biden insisting "we are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs," and Xi telling the forum that "China has never, and will never invade or bully others or seek hegemony."

But the underlying issues have not changed, with China building up its military outposts as it presses its maritime claims over critical sea lanes, and the US and its allies growing louder in their support of Taiwan, which China claims as part of its territory, and deepening military cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

On Friday, Biden hosts the leaders of Japan, India and Australia for an in-person Quadrilateral Security Dialogue for broad talks including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, but also how to keep the Indo-Pacific, a vast region spanning from India to Australia, "free and open," according to the White House.

This comes a week after the dramatic announcement that Australia would be dropping a contract for conventional French submarines in favor of an Anglo-American offer for nuclear-powered vessels, a bombshell that overshadowed the unveiling of the European Union's strategy to boost political and defense ties in the Indo-Pacific.

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