President Barack Obama has begun his tour of Asia by first visiting Japan amid the country’s growing territorial dispute with China, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
David Lynch writes President Obama will later visit South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines in a move to address those countries’ escalating tensions with Beijing.
Japan is in conflict with China over a group of islands that Japan calls Senkakus while the Chinese government calls them Diaoyu, according to the report.
“There are growing concerns about what China is up to in the maritime space,” Bonnie Glaser of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told Bloomberg.
The Philippines also recently sued China at an international tribunal in March for territorial disputes while South Korea is struggling to hold control over a submerged formation it calls leodo but branded by China as the Suyan Rock, the report says.
Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser, told the publication that President Obama is expected to focus on security ties between the U.S. and the Philippines during his trip to the country’s capital.