The US and Japan today expressed their strong concern about Chinas growing power, expressing their commitment to work together against efforts to destabilize the region, including emerging security threats.

The comments by the two allied countries, in a joint statement following thetwo plus twoonline meeting between the US and Japanese foreign and defense ministers, underscored their growing concern about China and the escalating tensions over Taiwan, which have brought Japans role in security matters more into the spotlight.

The ministers expressed concern about Chinas attemptsto undermine the rules-based order, which posepolitical, economic, military and technological challenges to the region and the world, according to a joint statement.

They agreed to work together to prevent and, if necessary, respond to destabilizing actions in the region,” the statement stressed.

Ministers also noted that they haveserious and continuing concernsabout human rights issues in Chinas Xinjiang province, but also in Hong Kong, and stressed the importance of ensuring peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits.

In response, China lodged a formal protest to both countries, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said.