President Trump on Monday urged China and Japan to safeguard their own ships that pass through the Strait of Hormuz in the Middle East.
This implies that the U.S. will no longer provide protection for these nation’s oil tankers that sail the straits between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.
China, Japan and other countries which rely on the passage for their oil, “should be protecting their own ships on what has always been a dangerous journey,” Trump tweeted.
“We don’t even need to be there in that the U.S. has just become (by far) the largest producer of Energy anywhere in the world!” he continued, after questioning why the U.S. is “protecting the shipping lanes for other countries” for “zero compensation.”
The Strait of Hormuz is the most important energy producing center for the world, with a daily oil flow averaging 21 million barrels per day in 2018, or the equivalent of about 21% of global electricity consumption, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
US naval presence enables East Asian economies to thrive since are heavily dependent on oil imports from the Gulf. President Trump rightfully points this out.
Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said he will raise the issue of the recent attacks in near the strait at the G20 summit in Osaka this week.
Trump has long been a critic of Japan taking advantage of free US military assistance decades before he got into politics.
The President’s remarks come amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran. The US has accused the Islamic Republic of attacking two oil tankers near the Gulf of Oman – which Iran denies.