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Biden, Suga to present united front on Taiwan

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is set to meet U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday.

The two leaders are expected to present a united front on Taiwan, China's most sensitive territorial issue.

That's according to a senior U.S. official, who said Suga and Biden plan to put out a joint statement on preserving the status quo in the self-governed Taiwan, a democratic island which Beijing claims as its own.

It's Biden's first in-person meeting with a foreign leader, as he seeks to reallocate U.S. military and diplomatic resources to the Indo-Pacific in an effort to counter China's growing power.

Biden and Suga are also set to discuss Beijing's treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang and its tightening grip on Hong Kong, while announcing a $2 billion Japanese investment in 5G telecommunications to counter China's Huawei.

The summit comes a day after several of Biden's emissaries met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, pledging to work together to deter the threat of heightened Chinese military activity.

But the joint statement on Taiwan is likely to fall short of U.S. expectations, as Japan struggles to balance its deep economic ties with China and navigate frosty relations with fellow U.S. ally South Korea.

Relations between Tokyo and Seoul have frayed over issues connected to Japan's former colonization of Korea.

The senior Biden official says he is expected to discuss how this friction has impeded U.S. objectives in the region.

The official added that Biden and Suga are expected to bolster efforts with the other Quad countries, Australia and India, as well as South Korea, in order to counter China's influence in the region, and will announce plans for their next meeting on Friday.