According to a statement by China’s defense ministry on Saturday, ‘certain nations’ increasing trend of deploying ships and aircraft to flaunt their military might has heightened tensions in the East and South China Seas.
The ministry spokesperson, Tan Kefei, was responding to a Japanese defense report pointing out potential threats from China. Tan criticized the report, arguing that it painted a misleading picture of China and intentionally overstated the supposed “Chinese military threat.” Despite the amplified regional tensions due to these actions, he maintained that the overall situation in the East China Sea and South China Sea remains generally stable.
Tan accused Japan of persistently meddling in China’s internal affairs, violating norms of international relations, destabilizing the bedrock of Sino-Japanese relations, and worsening the circumstances in the Taiwan Strait.
This comes as Japan released its annual defense paper, which provided a grim evaluation of China’s territorial aspirations, its security alliance with Russia, and an aggressive North Korea. The defense paper also pointed out Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a severe breach of international law and expressed apprehension that this use of force to resolve a conflict could set a dangerous precedent, potentially threatening the security of Taiwan, a territory that Beijing considers its own.
In light of these concerns, Japan announced in December that it would double its defense spending over the next five years, marking its most significant military buildup since World War Two.