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Esper To Talk ‘Countering China’ on Pacific Trip

Aug. 26, 2020 (EIRNS)—As he indicated in his Aug. 24 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper will be traveling to Hawaii, Guam, and Palau this week to confer with senior officials on countering China. The Pentagon has not released his schedule of meetings, but Japan’s Kyodo News Service reported on Aug. 20 that Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono will meet Esper in Guam on Aug. 29. Kono and the U.S. defense secretary are expected to discuss how to deal with China’s increasing maritime presence in the East and South China seas, where Beijing has been stepping up territorial claims, Kyodo’s sources said. The two are also likely to discuss Japan’s deterrence against North Korean missile threats following its decision in June to scrap plans to deploy the U.S.-developed Aegis Ashore missile defense system.

Esper will also be participating in events marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Hawaii on Sept. 2. The battleship USS Missouri, aboard which the surrender documents were signed, is now a museum in Pearl Harbor.

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