In a fresh sparring match between Asia’s rivals and leading economies, China has reacted sharply to Japan’s Defence Review, which asked Beijing to stop building oil and gas exploration close to the disputed waters in East China Sea. China’s defence ministry said it reserves the right to a “necessary reaction”.
“This kind of action completely lays bare the two-faced nature of Japan’s foreign policy and has a detrimental impact on peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region,” China’s Defense Ministry said in a statement issued on July 21. This comes in the backdrop of the rising tensions between China and Japan in the Pacifc. The prolonged dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands has deepened an atmosphere of hostility between both countries.
The Chinese defence ministry also claimed that the white paper was malicious in its intent to hype up East China Sea, South China Sea disputes, internet security and military transparency. However, the hostility continues to play out over the disputed territories in the region and maritime security concerns raised by both countries. China’s claims of sovereignty over the disputed islands has only worsened things between the two countries.
The passing of the recent controversial security legislation by Japan, under which its military can go to fight overseas, has raised alarm bells in the region. China’s reactions were on expected lines after the legislation was passed, with Beijing asking if Tokyo has abandoned its pacifist policies. South Korea, too, reacted to this move of Japan, saying that Japan’s defence policy should be transparent and should work to promote peace and stability in the region.
This fresh bout of wrangling between Tokyo and Beijing is not only bad for their already strained relations, but also bodes ill for balance and stability in the region.
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