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Japan and China agree to set up defense hotline amid tensions over East China Sea, Taiwan

China’s Defense Ministry confirmed the hotline agreement in a statement without giving a date for its implementation.

The agreement — reached during a two-hour video conference between Japan’s Nobuo Kishi and China’s Wei Fenghe — comes with their countries in dispute over Taiwan and issues in the East and South China seas.

The ministers discussed those differences during the meeting, including their competing claims to an uninhabited rocky island chain in the East China Sea controlled by Japan but which China claims as its sovereign territory.

China has been dispatching government ships, including coast guard vessels to the chain with increasing frequency, something Japan views as a challenge to its internationally recognized sovereignty over the islands.
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“Minister Kishi delivered that Japan opposes attempts of unilateral change to the status quo by coercion and that Japan possesses…

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