Tue, 03 Aug 2021

TOKYO, Japan: Japan has warned of the risk of military confrontations due to China's increasingly aggressive attitude towards Taiwan.

Also, Japan believes the growing economic and technological rivalry between China and the United States could result in a confrontation.

The conclusions about China were published in Japan's annual defense white paper, which is approved by the prime minister.

China, however, countered the Japanese conclusions, calling them irresponsible and describing military activity around Taiwan as normal.

Japan stated that China is its main national security concern, according to the defense review, which was approved by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's government on Tuesday.

"It is necessary that we pay close attention to the situation, with a sense of crisis more than ever," the paper said, in a new section on Taiwan.

"In particular, competition in technological fields is likely to become even more intense," it noted about the U.S.-China rivalry.

Japan has also voiced concern that their islands of Okinawa is at risk due to China's increase in military activity around Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry expressed its thanks to Japan for acknowledging the risks a more assertive China poses for the region.

Beijing responded with anger to the report, claiming Japan has "for some time now" been making baseless accusations about China's military activities.

"This is very wrong and irresponsible. China expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to this," said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.

Tensions in the region remain high. In July, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to complete the "reunification" with Taiwan and in June criticized the United States as a "risk creator" after it sent a warship through the Taiwan Straits separating Taiwan from the mainland.

Earlier in July, Taro Aso, Japan's deputy prime minister and finance minister, gave a speech in which he said Japan should join forces with the United States to defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion.
However, Aso later said any tensions over Taiwan should be resolved through dialogue.

The Japanese also voiced concern that the United States and China's economic competition in technologies, such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence and quantum computing, is adding to the tensions.

The Japanese security review also said that climate change would increase competition for land and resources, and even result in the mass movements of people.

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