Japan Gave Key Intel On China’s Uighur Crackdown To U.S. And Britain

Are relations between China and Japan about to enter another deep freeze?

According to Japan Times, which quoted “a person close to Japan-U.S. relations” Japan provided intelligence to the United States and Britain last year showing evidence of China’s forceful detainment of the Muslim Uighur minority on condition of keeping the source confidential. Using on that information, the United States stepped up criticism against China’s alleged crackdown on Uighurs in the Xinjiang autonomous region, the source said.

The move shows Japan has already been sharing key intelligence with partners behind the scenes amid calls within the government to join the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance to better respond to increasing threats by North Korea and China. The intelligence-sharing network involves Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

Britain joined the United States in pressing Beijing over its crackdown on Uighurs, but Japan has only said it “is closely watching the situation with concern.”

Japan seeks to maintain friendly ties with China – its largest trading partner – without hurting relations with its top security ally, the United States. In retrospect, that may prove extremely impossible now that Japan’s backroom backstabbing of Beijing has leaked.

Given that Tokyo’s relations with Beijing had been improving, it was preparing for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first visit as a state guest in spring 2020, although the planned visit was later postponed after the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic.

US President Donald Trump’s administration has put in place a series of sanctions on Beijing for alleged human rights abuses against Uighurs, such as visa restrictions on Chinese officials, increasing bilateral tensions.

Vice President Mike Pence severely criticized China in a July 2019 speech in Washington, claiming that the “Communist Party imprisoned more than a million Chinese Muslims, including Uighurs, in internment camps where they endure around-the-clock brainwashing.”

China has, naturally, responded with anger and urged Western counties to mind their own problems, slamming  criticisms as interference in its internal affairs.

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