Biden is seeking closer ties with Japan as the U.S. has plans to challenge China

Biden-is -seeking-closer-ties-with-Japan-as-the-U.S.-has-plans-to-challenge-China

April 16, 2021: -On Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and political analysts say China’s growing influence will be strong on the agenda.

The two leaders will gather in Washington to be the U.S. president’s first in-person summit with a foreign leader since his January inauguration. The meeting comes as the U.S. seeks to challenge China on issues ranging from human rights to unfair trade practices.

Biden and Suga are expected to discuss the U.S.-Japan security partnership and other potential cooperation areas during their meeting. That could include climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, and stability in the Taiwan Strait said analysts.

The summit’s possible outcome is an infrastructure plan focusing on high-quality projects such as high-speed 5G internet and clean energy, Nikkei Asia reported last week. Such a U.S.-Japan infrastructure cooperation could rival China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative, the report said.

The Belt and Road Initiative is China’s ambitious program to build a physical and digital infrastructure that connects hundreds of countries from Asia to the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Many critics consider it Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy to expand its global influence.

“Establishing an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative is important to Biden’s overall foreign policy agenda in the Indo-Pacific,” Neil Thomas, an analyst at risk consultancy Eurasia Group, told CNBC via email.

“That’s because the best way for Washington to compete with Beijing’s economic influence in the Indo-Pacific is to offer a more attractive development option to countries in the region,” he added.

Even before he was elected as president, Biden had criticized China for financing dirty fossil fuel projects through the Belt and Road Initiative. He brought up the possibility of working with allies to offer alternative financing sources for lower-carbon energy projects.  

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