Japan’s Defense Ministry: “China’s current external stance, military activities … present an unprecedented and the greatest strategic challenge.”
China’s military supremacy over Taiwan is growing ‘rapidly,’ Japan’s defense ministry fears. The warning comes as China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducts aggressive air drills around the Island nation and the Communist Party renewed the call for the “reunification of our motherland” —a long-standing demand by Beijing to annex Taiwan.
Beijing’s military buildup poses a grave threat to Japan and the region, the Japanese defense planners believe. “China’s current external stance, military activities, and other activities have become a matter of serious concern for Japan and the international community, and present an unprecedented and the greatest strategic challenge,” the 510-page annual report released Japan’s Defense Ministry warned.
Beijing is making a huge investment in building up its nuclear arsenal and conventional military might as part of the sweeping modernization of the PLA ordered by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). “Supported by the increase in its defense budget at a high level, China is extensively and rapidly enhancing its military capability, with focuses on its naval and air forces as well as its nuclear and missile forces,” the report added.
The Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post reported Friday:
The military balance between mainland China and Taiwan is “rapidly tilting to China’s favour,” Japan said in its annual defence report released on Friday, amid tensions over the self-ruled island that Beijing considers its territory.
The defence ministry’s 2023 white paper, received by the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida the same day, said there is increasing global concern about China’s intensifying “coercive military activities” in the skies and waters surrounding Taiwan.
In last year’s report, Tokyo said that the military balance between Beijing and Taipei was “tilting to China’s favour, and the gap appears to be growing year by year.” (…)
A contingency involving Taiwan is a particularly concerning prospect for Japan, a US ally, given the proximity of its southwestern islands, including the Tokyo-controlled, Beijing-claimed Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. (…)
The latest report said that during the exercises, the Chinese military may have simulated operations for “invading Taiwan,” such as anti-ground and anti-ship attack drills, as well as those for gaining air and naval supremacy.
“The fact that China is capable of carrying out such activities shows that the situation is working to China’s advantage,” a defence ministry official told reporters.
The paper also cited a “significant increase” in the number of Chinese aircraft entering Taiwan’s airspace, rising from 972 in 2021 to 1,733 in 2022, as another sign of the shifting military balance.
The report described China as “a matter of serious concern” for the global community, saying the country presents the “greatest strategic challenge,” to which Japan should respond through “cooperation and collaboration” with the United States, as well as other “like-minded countries.”
China, Russia, and North Korea: The new axis threatens Asia
China’s growing military alliance with Russia is another source of worry for Japan and other U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific region, according to the report. “Russia’s military activities in the Indo-Pacific region including Japan, together with its strategic coordination with China, are of strong security concern,” the report said.
According to the Japanese assessment, the emerging China-Russia-North Korea axis is the biggest military threat since the end of the Second World War. The Associated Press reported Friday:
China, Russia and North Korea contribute to “the most severe and complex security environment since the end of World War II,” according to the 510-page report. It says China’s external stance and military activities have become a “serious concern for Japan and the international community and present an unprecedented and the greatest strategic challenge.” (…)
Russia and China have also stepped up strategic ties, the white paper said, noting five joint bomber flights since 2019, and several joint navigations of Chinese and Russian warships that it said were “clearly intended for demonstration of force against Japan and of grave concern” to both Japan and the region.
Recent reports suggest that Beijing is setting up a high-tech listening post in Cuba, just 100 miles from the U.S. coast. “China and Cuba have reached a secret agreement for China to establish an electronic eavesdropping facility on the island, in a brash new geopolitical challenge by Beijing to the U.S., according to U.S. officials familiar with highly classified intelligence,” the Wall Street Journal reported last month.DONATE
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