Following a new tripartite security plan, United States National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Takeo Akiba, secretary-general of Japan’s National Security Secretariat, and Philippine National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano will meet next week to address cooperation towards the growing Chinese military presence in the region.
The talks follow up on deepening security ties between the three nations after joint Coast Guard drills earlier this month. These drills highlight an increase in the intensity of the region, with Australia, India, South Korea, and Singapore also participating in similar international training and show of force maneuvers in the South China Sea.
China’s territorial disputes in the South China Sea have been a subject of contention, particularly involving Japan and the Philippines. China claims almost the entire South China Sea based on historical grounds, encompassing disputed territories like the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands with Japan and the Scarborough Shoal with the Philippines.
These disputes have escalated tensions, with China asserting its presence through military maneuvers, island-building activities, and the establishment of maritime boundaries.
The Philippines has pursued legal recourse by initiating an arbitration case against China, resulting in a landmark ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016, which invalidated China’s expansive claims. However, China has disregarded the ruling, continuing its assertive actions in the region, leading to ongoing diplomatic and geopolitical challenges.
Continued security efforts by the three nations seek to undermine Chinese incursions as tensions continue to rise. The United States maintains military cooperation with allies in the region in order to facilitate regional security and stability through intelligence sharing, joint military exercises, and maritime security. These alliances’ primary goals are to ensure a collective response to any aggressive actions or provocations by China in the Pacific while maintaining freedom of navigation and rules-based order.