President Joe Biden will host Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the White House on April 16, his first in-person visit from a head of state.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki made the announcement at a White House press briefing on Friday, saying the meeting will emphasize America’s “friendship and partnership” with Japan. The Biden administration has already been working alongside Japan, Australia, India and other allies to increase competition with China in recent weeks. (RELATED: US And Japan Running Joint Military Exercise In Show Of Force To Nearby China)
Biden will host Japanese PM Suga at the WH next Friday, April 16, @PressSec confirms. Will be Biden’s first in-person bilat.
— Courtney Subramanian (@cmsub) April 2, 2021
The White House has not released details on Suga’s visit or what the bilateral meeting will focus on, but China will likely be a major issue.
Japan is a member country in the revitalized “quad” partnership alongside the U.S., India and Australia. While U.S. officials insist the group is not “the new NATO,” the four countries aim to keep China in check and ensure consequences for recent alleged hacking attacks.
The Biden administration has made clear that opposing China on the world stage is a top priority. Secretary of State Tony Blinken testified to Congress on in early March, saying their goal is to gather a “chorus” of countries to condemn China’s human rights abuses.
“The more China hears not just our opprobrium, but a chorus of opprobrium from around the world, the better the chance that we’ll get some changes,” Blinken said. “It would be very important if China claims that there is nothing going on that it give access to the international community, to the United Nations. If they have nothing to hide, show it to us. Show the world.”
The U.S., European Union, and several other nations announced sanctions on March 22 against Chinese Communist Party officials in Xinjiang over ongoing human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims.