TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The United States is committed to defending the Japan-controlled Diaoyutai (Senkaku) Islands against China's claims, President Joe Biden told Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide in a phone conversation Thursday (Jan. 28), according to the White House.
The uninhabited islands, located in rich fishing waters with potential oil and gas sources, are also claimed by Taiwan, though the country apparently did not come up during the phone call.
Biden’s pledge risks involving the U.S. in a military confrontation between China and Japan. The new president reportedly expressed his “unwavering commitment to the defense of Japan,” mentioning that this also covers the Senkaku Islands, known in Taiwan as the Diaoyutai Islands.
Both governments mentioned Biden’s support for “extended deterrence,” which refers to the use of nuclear weapons to defend an ally, according to Bloomberg.
The two leaders said they would strive for a free and open Indo-Pacific and a nuclear-free North Korea. Additionally, Biden invited Suga to a climate summit in April.