US gets cosy with China, leaving Japan officials flabbergasted

US gets cosy with China, leaving Japan officials flabbergasted
Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, held talks with U.S. President Barack Obama in Beijing last November.

TOKYO - US President Barack Obama often, from a Japanese point of view, seems to go too far in paying compliments to China. This behaviour is incomprehensible for some government officials in Tokyo.

For example, when Obama held a joint press conference with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping following their talks in Beijing last November, he declared that developing a cooperative relationship with China is "at the heart of" the White House's Asia strategy.

This remark by the US leader could give the impression that he puts greater emphasis on relations with China than on those with allies in the Asia-Pacific region such as Japan, South Korea and Australia.

Too relaxed

So, why does Obama make such remarks?

"The Obama administration does not have a strong sense of crisis over China's military buildup in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. That's probably why he can speak thoughtlessly," grumbled one Japanese government official.

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