Five Eyes eyes to include Japan and target China

Intelligence alliance reforming to counter China and bolster strategic sectors like rare metals

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Map of Five Eyes members (Wikimedia, Applysense image) 

Map of Five Eyes members (Wikimedia, Applysense image) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Five Eyes (FVEY) is reportedly restructuring, with the intelligence alliance enlisting Japan and expanding its role to feature a strategic economic relationship.

The change involves ramping up production of critical minerals and medical supplies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, reported the Guardian, citing British MPs. The crisis has exposed the vulnerabilities of many economies in terms of key strategic resources and their over reliance on China.

China accounts for the supply of more than 90 percent of rare earth elements, which are used to manufacture a wide range of key components in tech products from laptops to mobile phones, in addition to defense applications, according to the report.

There is also a proposal to include Japan in the alliance, which was founded in 1941. Founding members are the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Japan's defense minister Tarō Kōno put forward the suggestion at a China Research Group seminar last week, stressing the need for like-minded nations to pool investments in tech partnerships to counter China. He also invited the U.K. to join the CPTPP, a Pacific region trade bloc spearheaded by Japan.

On Tuesday (July 28) China moved to suspend judicial assistance and extradition treaties between Hong Kong and the U.K., Australia, and Five Eyes, in what it called “firing the first shot against interference in China’s internal affairs from the Five Eyes.” The Global Times, the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece, cited experts by saying that more orchestrated countermeasures can be expected to target the countries while leaving room for them to “correct their mistakes.”