Tokyo [Japan], July 23 (ANI): Expressing grave concerns, the Japanese Ministry of Defence in its latest annual report said that China is trying to heighten tensions by relentlessly continuing to unilaterally change the status quo in the East and South China Sea by coercion.
"China continues to unilaterally change or attempt to change the status quo by coercion in the East China Sea and South China Sea. China has made clear that it would not hesitate to unify Taiwan by force, further increasing tensions in the region," the Japan's MoD said in its Annual Report 2022.
It added that for over 30 years, China has been growing its defence budget at a high level and rapidly improving its military power in qualitative and quantitative terms with focus on nuclear, missile, naval and air forces, which is raising strong concerns.
"China is ramping up "Civil-Military Fusion" (CMF is the fusion of military and civilian resources), and intelligentization (use of AI, etc.), with the aim of building a "world-class military," it added.
It pointed out that China may be trying to develop military forces that are equal to, or, in some cases superior to the US forces. The report also raises concerns over intrusions into the territorial waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands by China Coast Guard and other vessels.
The reports further stresses over the strategic competition between the U.S. and China and says that such inter-state competition is constantly occurring through a variety of means, including social networks (SNS), and sometimes even through "hybrid warfare" that combines military and non-military measures.
"The Indo-Pacific region in which Japan is situated has been significantly affected by changes to the global balance of power and faces various security challenges. In particular, the tension between the U.S. and China is becoming more pronounced in Taiwan and the South China Sea," the Japanese MoD stated.
It adds that considering the scenario it will be important to closely monitor related trends with intense interest. "The Biden administration has focused on reestablishing US dominance and prevailing in strategic competition with China," it continued saying.
The MoD report said, "In the National Defense Strategy Fact Sheet released in March 2022, the administration identified China as its most consequential strategic competitor and pacing challenge, to be addressed with the highest priority."
"In October 2021, Chinese and Russian warships conducted joint sails that circled around Japan. This exercise seemed to have been intended as a show of force against Japan."
It noted that the Chinese military trends, combined with insufficient transparency about China's defence policies and military affairs, have become a matter of grave concern to the region including Japan and the international community, and these trends have been intensifying in recent years.
The report pointed out that the conflict between US and China is also becoming prominent over Taiwan.
"In April 2021, the US issued "New Guidelines" to encourage interaction with Taiwanese officials, demonstrating that the U.S. is committed to accelerating U.S. involvement in Taiwan. The U.S. continues to conduct U.S. warship transits through the Taiwan Strait and arms sales to Taiwan."
"On the other hand, in 2021, China further increased the number of Chinese military aircraft entering the airspace southwest of Taiwan and has announced that it is conducting field training in the sea and airspace around Taiwan."
It added that China is also enhancing their capability to interfere with other countries' use of space, and these countries and their militaries are reportedly involved in cyber attacks.
"The United States, Japan's ally, and Australia, India, as well as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and other European countries, Canada, and New Zealand, are countries that not only share fundamental values with Japan, but also have geographic and historical ties to the Indo-Pacific region." (ANI)