Japan urges Europe to speak out against China’s military expansion

2021/09/1632142292.jpg
Read: 302     16:49     20 September 2021    

Japan has urged European countries to speak out against China’s aggression, warning that the international community must bolster deterrence efforts against Beijing’s military and territorial expansion amid a growing risk of a hot conflict.


In an interview with the Guardian, Japan’s defence minister, Nobuo Kishi, said China had become increasingly powerful politically, economically and militarily and was “attempting to use its power to unilaterally change the status quo in the East and South China Seas”, which are crucial to global shipping and include waters and islands claimed by several other nations.

Tokyo had “strong concerns in regards to the safety and security of not only our own country and the region but for the global community”, Kishi warned. “China is strengthening its military power both in terms of quantity and quality, and rapidly improving its operational capability,” he said.

Kishi’s comments are a strong signal of the rising international concern over China’s military ambitions in disputed regions like the South and East China Sea, the Indian border, and in particular Taiwan. His remarks were echoed by senior figures on the island, with Taiwan’s former head of navy and deputy defence minister also warning that more deterrence was needed.

With China ratcheting up military activity in the region, experts and global military figures have also warned that small confrontations or maritime accidents could quickly escalate into a full-blown conflict.

The comments come amid fresh tensions over a new trilateral security partnership, under which the US and UK will give Australia the technology to build nuclear-powered submarines. The alliance is widely understood to be aimed at countering China.

Kishi, who spoke to the Guardian before the new security pact was revealed, said Japan had gained the understanding and cooperation of many countries, but far more was needed to counter Beijing. He said the European parliament, as well as the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands, had shown interest in supporting “a free and open Indo-Pacific”, but “it is important for many countries to speak out about the situation, and this itself will become a deterrent”.

According to figures released by Japan’s coast guard, the number of “incursions” by Chinese vessels into disputed areas has increased dramatically since 2012. Earlier this year Chinese vessels were seen near the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands for a record 157 days in a row, and Japan recently lodged formal protest over a flotilla of seven Chinese coast guard vessels – the largest since 2016 – patrolling the contiguous zone on 30 August.

Japan has become significantly more vocal in recent months, calling for greater engagement with the US and other parties in resisting what they call Chinese expansionism. This week, the outgoing prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, travels to Washington to attend an in-person summit of Quad with the US, India and Australia.

The US – which is a key player in the geopolitical situation – has increased its presence in the region, issuing warnings to China and pledging support to those targeted. The UK has also announced a permanent military presence in the Indo-Pacific and recently led a carrier strike group – including Britain’s largest warship and Dutch and US assets – to participate in joint exercises.

In April, the EU jointly declared tensions in the South China Sea were threatening regional peace and stability, while French warships have participated in joint exercises with the US and Japan, and Germany recently sent a warship for the first time in two decades.

A new Indo-Pacific strategy report last week showed China to be at the centre of EU concerns, but that the bloc was taking a cautious approach. The document warned regional tensions “may have a direct impact on European security and prosperity”, but urged “multifaceted engagement” with China.

Kishi said he had met recently with several foreign counterparts, including the UK, and “shared that what is happening in the East China Sea and the South China Sea is not only a regional problem, but at the same time also a problem for the international community”.

“I expressed that this is also something happening that is relevant to Europe.”

The Guardian



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Japan urges Europe to speak out against China’s military expansion

2021/09/1632142292.jpg
Read: 303     16:49     20 September 2021    

Japan has urged European countries to speak out against China’s aggression, warning that the international community must bolster deterrence efforts against Beijing’s military and territorial expansion amid a growing risk of a hot conflict.


In an interview with the Guardian, Japan’s defence minister, Nobuo Kishi, said China had become increasingly powerful politically, economically and militarily and was “attempting to use its power to unilaterally change the status quo in the East and South China Seas”, which are crucial to global shipping and include waters and islands claimed by several other nations.

Tokyo had “strong concerns in regards to the safety and security of not only our own country and the region but for the global community”, Kishi warned. “China is strengthening its military power both in terms of quantity and quality, and rapidly improving its operational capability,” he said.

Kishi’s comments are a strong signal of the rising international concern over China’s military ambitions in disputed regions like the South and East China Sea, the Indian border, and in particular Taiwan. His remarks were echoed by senior figures on the island, with Taiwan’s former head of navy and deputy defence minister also warning that more deterrence was needed.

With China ratcheting up military activity in the region, experts and global military figures have also warned that small confrontations or maritime accidents could quickly escalate into a full-blown conflict.

The comments come amid fresh tensions over a new trilateral security partnership, under which the US and UK will give Australia the technology to build nuclear-powered submarines. The alliance is widely understood to be aimed at countering China.

Kishi, who spoke to the Guardian before the new security pact was revealed, said Japan had gained the understanding and cooperation of many countries, but far more was needed to counter Beijing. He said the European parliament, as well as the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands, had shown interest in supporting “a free and open Indo-Pacific”, but “it is important for many countries to speak out about the situation, and this itself will become a deterrent”.

According to figures released by Japan’s coast guard, the number of “incursions” by Chinese vessels into disputed areas has increased dramatically since 2012. Earlier this year Chinese vessels were seen near the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands for a record 157 days in a row, and Japan recently lodged formal protest over a flotilla of seven Chinese coast guard vessels – the largest since 2016 – patrolling the contiguous zone on 30 August.

Japan has become significantly more vocal in recent months, calling for greater engagement with the US and other parties in resisting what they call Chinese expansionism. This week, the outgoing prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, travels to Washington to attend an in-person summit of Quad with the US, India and Australia.

The US – which is a key player in the geopolitical situation – has increased its presence in the region, issuing warnings to China and pledging support to those targeted. The UK has also announced a permanent military presence in the Indo-Pacific and recently led a carrier strike group – including Britain’s largest warship and Dutch and US assets – to participate in joint exercises.

In April, the EU jointly declared tensions in the South China Sea were threatening regional peace and stability, while French warships have participated in joint exercises with the US and Japan, and Germany recently sent a warship for the first time in two decades.

A new Indo-Pacific strategy report last week showed China to be at the centre of EU concerns, but that the bloc was taking a cautious approach. The document warned regional tensions “may have a direct impact on European security and prosperity”, but urged “multifaceted engagement” with China.

Kishi said he had met recently with several foreign counterparts, including the UK, and “shared that what is happening in the East China Sea and the South China Sea is not only a regional problem, but at the same time also a problem for the international community”.

“I expressed that this is also something happening that is relevant to Europe.”

The Guardian



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