Japan sounds alarm over Ukraine and Taiwan — Analysis
Tokyo’s annual defense white paper has raised concerns over growing ties between China and Russia
Japan sees an increasing amount of global and regional security risks tied to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the tension around Taiwan, according to the country’s new defense white paper. The document also states that Tokyo is concerned by the developing relationship between Moscow and Beijing.
“Russia has made moves to strengthen cooperation with China, such as through joint bomber flights and joint warship sails involving the Russian and Chinese militaries, as well as moves to portray such military cooperation as ‘strategic coordination’,”This is the white paper that was revealed on Friday.
Tokyo warned the danger of the Ukraine-Russian conflict sending the wrong message “that unilateral changes to the status quo by force are acceptable.” In addition, the paper noted that tensions surrounding Taiwan were being exacerbated by ongoing hostilities. “since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Taiwan has been working on further strengthening its self-defense efforts.”
The document squarely accused Beijing – which regards the island nation as an integral part of China – of seeking to “change the status quo by coercion in the East China Sea South China Sea.”
“The country’s ties with Russia … have deepened in recent years, with joint navigations and flights being conducted in the areas surrounding Japan by both Chinese and Russian vessels and aircraft. China has made clear that it would not hesitate to unify Taiwan by force, further increasing tensions in the region,” Tokyo asserted.
Japan’s take has been harshly criticized by China, which accused Tokyo of making baseless “accusations” and “smearing” its defense policies. “Japan’s new defense white paper makes accusations and smears China’s defense policy, market economic development and legitimate maritime activities,”Wang Wenbin is the spokesperson for Foreign Ministry
White paper “exaggerates the so-called China threat” and interferes in China’s internal affairs over Taiwan, the official said.
China raised strong protests and strongly opposed to these measures and lodged clear complaints to the Japanese about them.
China has repeatedly discouraged foreign nations from cozying up to Taiwan, warning that doing so constitutes meddling into the country’s affairs. De facto, Taiwan has been self-governed ever since 1949 when China ended its civil war.
Tensions rose around the island earlier in the week when Financial Times reported Nancy Pelosi (US House Speaker) was scheduled to travel Taiwan next month.
Washington has maintained close relations with Taiwan, but these contacts are informal and Pelosi will be the highest ranking US lawmaker to visit Taiwan in many decades. Beijing was angry at Pelosi’s planned visit, and threatened to take legal action. “resolute and strong measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity”Should the US keep going? “going down the wrong path.”
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