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Foreign Ships, Aircraft In East And South China Seas Escalating Tensions – China’s Defense Ministry

A helicopter takes off from China's Shandong aircraft carrier, over Pacific Ocean waters, south of Okinawa prefecture, Japan, in this handout photo taken April 15, 2023 and released by the Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan April 17, 2023. Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan

Foreign Ships, Aircraft In East And South China Seas Escalating Tensions – China’s Defense Ministry

Total Views: 38968
July 29, 2023

BEIJING, July 29 (Reuters) – The frequent dispatch of ships and aircraft by certain unnamed countries to “show off their military force for self-interest” has raised tensions in the East and South China Seas, China’s defense ministry said on Saturday.

In comments about a Japanese defense report flagging Chinese threats, ministry spokesperson Tan Kefei said the actions have seriously aggravated regional tensions, even as overall situation in the East China Sea and South China Sea was generally stable.

Tan said Japan’s annual defense paper projected a “wrong perception” of China, and “deliberately exaggerates the so-called Chinese military threat.” 

China has lodged stern representations to Tokyo, expressing resolute opposition to the paper, he said.

He also reiterated that Japan has continuously interfered in China’s internal affairs, violated international relations norms, undermined the foundation of Sino-Japanese relations and aggravated the situation in the Taiwan Strait.

Japan released its annual defense paper last week, offering a gloomy assessment of the threat of China’s territorial ambitions, its security partnership with Russia and a belligerent North Korea.

It had in last year’s paper described Russia’s attack on Ukraine as a “serious violation of international law” and raises concerns that its use of force to resolve a dispute established a precedent that threatens the security of neighboring Taiwan, which Beijing views as its own territory.

In December, Japan announced doubling its defense spending over the next five years, undertaking its biggest military build-up since World War Two.

“China-Russia cooperation in the field of defense is based on non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-targeting of third parties, and is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world, without posing a threat to any country,” Tan said.

(Reporting by Liz Lee and Beijing newsroom; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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