Australia and Japan’s new security agreement sends a strong message to China – the two countries will work closely to ensure a stable Indo – Pacific region, a senior analyst with the Australian Think Tank said on Friday.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on Thursday. The The two countries signed a mutual access agreement (RAA) will go through the necessary domestic procedures before it comes into force “as soon as possible”.
According to Malcolm Davis of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the agreement will pave the way for closer security ties between the two countries as Japanese and Australian forces can deploy from each other’s bases and establish common ground.
“More importantly, the strategic message to the RAA region is that Japan and Australia work closely together to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Davis told CNBC.Squawk Box Asia. “
This is happening in areas such as the South China Sea and the East China Sea, where there is a territorial dispute between Japan and China, and against a more stable and aggressive, growing Chinese environment. Taiwan, “he added.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison shows a document during a virtual summit with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio in Canberra on January 6, 2022.
AFP | Getty Images
“I fully anticipate some harsh statements from the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing,” Davis said, referring to China’s possible response to the Australia-Japan defense agreement, which has been in operation for many years.
“They do not like this, but frankly, we make our security policy choices based on Australia’s needs, not China’s happiness,” he added.
Those arrangements “send a strong message to Beijing that the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and other major powers are working together to do many things,” Davis said. First, they demonstrate the commitment of countries to create a stable, independent and open Indo-Pacific region; Second, they serve as a way to deter China in disputed areas, including Taiwan.
“Third, we can respond to threats when they arise,” he added.
Curtis Sin, Asia colleague at the Milkan Institute, told CNBC that Taiwan is at the forefront of the debate as the United States, Japan and Australia strengthen their ties with each other.Street Signs Asia“Friday.
“If China speaks freely, I think they will care,” he added.
ASPI’s Davis told CNBC that the possibility of China making some sort of move against Taiwan was a major concern – and that existing security agreements and arrangements in the Indo-Pacific region could “strengthen the credibility of the blockade”.
Some political analysts say tensions between the United States and China over the Taiwan issue will escalate High risk for Asia this year.
In the economic front, China is a member The world’s largest trade deal, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which Includes many countries in the Indo-Pacific region. There is also Beijing Forces to join another mega trade deal In that part of the world.
The United States is not involved in any of those trade agreements.
China has an ambitious plan called the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to build the physical and digital infrastructure that will connect hundreds of countries from Asia to the Middle East, Africa and Europe and expand the country’s influence in those regions.
Sin, from the Milken Institute, explained that there is a lot of debate about how other countries are responding to emerging China, and it is important to look at what the country is facing domestically.
These include its efforts to contain the Govt explosion and try to get its economy back on track – Economists are concerned Problems in the property market and sluggish consumption could affect China’s growth outlook.
However, by 2022, Chin said he hoped all parties involved would “step back and recognize it.” [to] It would be of no use to anyone if what some call the Cold War turns into a hot war in the Asia-Pacific region. “