US, Japan pledge to step up defence cooperation to counter China threat

China has hit out at the US and Japan, after the two allies voiced strong concern over its growing influence. Washington and Tokyo have accused Beijing of ongoing efforts to undermine the rules-based order, referring specifically to activity in the East and South China Seas. Both sides have pledged to step up defence cooperation against emerging threats. Japan has also agreed to pay more for 50,000 US troops to continue to be stationed in the country. Officials are signing a new five-year deal, amounting to nearly $9 billion.

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