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Japan Braces for Long Game Against China

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Japan is becoming wise to the threat China poses to both its country and Taiwan. In its newly published white paper, Japan’s defense ministry called China “a matter of serious concern” and “an unprecedented and the greatest strategic challenge.” Largely to counter China, Japan will boost its total defense budget from 17.2 trillion yen planned from FY 2019 through FY 2023 to 43.5 trillion yen in FY 2024 through FY 2028, according to the white paper. This includes a tenfold increase in stand-off defense capabilities, a threefold increase in integrated air and missile defense capabilities, a tenfold increase in unmanned defense capabilities, and a doubling in investment in ammunition and guided missiles.

Meanwhile, Japan’s minister of defense recently stated that “…it would be very possible that we will provide some kind of support to Taiwan. I am not sure…whether it is going to be defense equipment support or…logistics support.”

Increased Threat to Japan

Japan recognizes the increased threat that China poses to Japan’s sovereignty. Recognizing China’s “tremendous military capabilities,” the white paper states that “China has been intensifying its activities across the entire region surrounding Japan, including in the East China Sea, particularly the area around the Senkaku Islands, the Sea of Japan, and the western Pacific Ocean including areas around the Izu and Ogasawara Islands, extending beyond the so-called first island chain to the second island chain.” Regarding China’s increased actions in the Sea of Japan, the paper specifically recognizes the intrusions of Chinese early warning aircraft, intelligence gathering aircraft, bombers and fighters in formation. The paper also drills down on the “continuous activities of Chinese warships and others around the Senkaku Islands,” namely incursions by Chinese navy and coast guard ships. The white paper also details Chinese military aircraft (early warning aircraft, fighters, and unmanned aerial vehicles) flying over the Pacific Ocean near Okinawa and Miyakojima Island.

Increased Threat to Taiwan

Japan recognizes that China “…is increasing military pressure on Taiwan and continues to entrench its military foothold in the South China Sea,” according to the white paper. The white paper mentions that “China launched nine ballistic missiles in August 4, 2022, five of which landed within Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),” and that these missiles were “perceived as a threat to local residents.”

Japan is also becoming wise to China’s “peaceful reunification” canard, noting that while this is China’s consistent official position vis a vis Taiwan, China “has not ruled out the possibility of the use of force.” Japan has also noted the “significant increase in number of Chinese aircraft entering Taiwan’s airspace,” which Japan calculates as increasing from 380 incidents in 2020 to 972 in 2021 to 1,733 in 2022.

CCP’s Response

Meanwhile, the CCP has responded to Japan’s awakening with propaganda that is patently false in attempts to absolve China while demonizing Japan. China’s defense minister stated that “[t]he Chinese military has always been a steadfast force in upholding world peace and stability, never challenging or threatening anyone,” according to Global Times. But in an obvious challenge and threat, a spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry contradicted the defense minister by stating that “We urge Japan to stop playing with fire on the Taiwan question. Those who play with fire will eventually get burnt,” according to Xinhua. And in a serious case of projection, a spokesman for China’s defense ministry claims that “…Japan…is moving further down the path of military expansion, posing a serious threat to regional and global peace, security and stability,” according to Global Times.

While a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman claimed that “Japan is not a country concerned in the South China Sea…,” that claim is false on its face as approximately 42 percent of Japanese maritime trade runs through that sea. And while the same spokeswoman also states that “the Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affair,” experts believe that a Chinese takeover of Taiwan could render Japan’s southwest islands “indefensible” and put significant pressure on the Senkaku Islands and Japanese trade. So, Taiwan’s security is of prime importance to Japan.

The CCP is increasing both its propaganda and military intimidation against Taiwan and Japan. But Japan is awakening to this and is preparing to defend both itself and the island. The United States needs to capitalize on this and shore up its other allies in the region to contain the CCP’s expansionist ambitions.

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New documents show China trying to establish ‘satellite state’ in Caribbean

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China has been “exploiting a fragile security environment and taking advantage of the region’s need for economic investment to gain influence and advance its malign agenda” in a move that challenges U.S. hegemony in the Americas, U.S. Southern Command Comm. General Laura Richardson recently told Congress in written testimony.

The Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, located about 220 miles from the U.S. Virgin Islands, is where China is planning to establish a special Chinese-run economic zone, according to documents reviewed by Newsweek

Just The News  reports that per the documents, the area will have its own customs and immigration facilities, a shipping port and it will even issue passports. China will also establish different kinds of businesses that will specialize in things from facial surgery to virology, the latter of which is closely associated with the research in Wuhan that is the suspected source of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A spokesperson for SOUTHCOM said that the U.S. military is “aware that China may use its commercial and diplomatic presence for military purposes. In Asia, Africa and the Middle East, China has already abused commercial agreements at host-country ports for military aims; our concern is they may do the same in this region.”

More than two-thirds of the 31 nations under SOUTHCOM’s responsibility have signed onto China’s belt-and-road initiative, which is Beijing’s program to lend money to developing nations to use for infrastructure projects, according to Just The News.

Several nations have had problems with repaying such loans, resulting in Beijing seizing the country’s assets. For example, Sri Lanka struggled to pay back Beijing in 2017 and instead signed off the rights to a strategic port, according to Foreign Policy.

Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Mo., a member of the House Oversight Committee proving China’s incursion inside the U.S. sphere of influence, told Just the News on Monday night that Beijing’s aggression in the Caribbean reminded him of the Soviet’s intervention in Fidel Castro’s Cuba more than a half century earlier.

“It reminds me of Russia’s involvement in Cuba, just 220 miles off the shore of the US Virgin Islands. We have Antigua. It used to be considered the United States back yard. Unfortunately, today, it’s China’s front yard,” Burlison told the “Just the News, No Noise television show. “And China has used the united front to enter into loan agreements and contracts to create trade zones within Antigua in order to gain a foothold into the Caribbean.”

“And this is just part of their efforts around the globe, whether it’s in African countries or Laos. They’re they’re creating a network to try to undermine the U.S. dollar and try to end run around some of our tariffs and other programs,” he warned.

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