Japan: China to be more aggressive in South China Sea
Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - August 6, 2014 - 5:28pm

MANILA, Philippines — China is likely to further expand intensify its presence in disputed areas of the East China and South China seas as well as the Pacific Ocean, Japan believes.

In its 429-page defense white paper released over the weekend, Japan's Ministry of Defense said that trends and apparent objectives of China, its rival claimant, indicate future expansion that may include airspace over the contested waters and land features also claimed in part by the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

It said five objectives point to possible plans for the Chinese Navy, Air Force and other organizations despite Beijing's apparent lack of transparency in its military spending and projections.

Read related story: Philippines to present 'final approach' to sea row before ASEAN

The first objective is to intercept enemy operations in waters and airspace "as far as possible from China" to defend its territory, including water and airspace.

"Behind this objective is an increase in effectiveness  of long-range attacks due to recent progress in science and technology," the paper said.

The Asian power will also develop military capabilities "to deter and prevent Taiwan's independence." Beijing's leadership will not allow foreign parties to intervene in the longstanding Taiwan issue, Tokyo said.

Also among China's apparent objectives, according to Japan, is to weaken neighboring countries' control over islands China claims part of its territorial sovereignty by various surveillance activities and use of force.

Oil and gas drilling activities will also continue  to be of China's "maritime rights and interests.

The fifth goal is for the Chinese Navy and Air Force to defend its sea lanes of communications, the defense report said.

Last December, China declared an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over Japan-claimed East China Sea.

In the paper, Japan slammed the ADIZ  as "a profoundly dangerous act that ... escalates the situation and may cause unintended consequences."

China's state-run media, meanwhile, criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shino Abe for "hyping up the China threat" to justify Japan's military expansion.

"Instead of seeing China becoming a real threat, we have witnessed an increasingly aggressive Japan, a country that has broken its post-war pacifist pledges and looks poised to assert its military presence over the Asia-Pacific," official news agency Xinhua said Tuesday.

AIR DEFENSE IDENTIFICATION ZONE AIR FORCE BEIJING CHINA CHINESE NAVY CHINESE NAVY AND AIR FORCE EAST CHINA AND SOUTH CHINA EAST CHINA SEA JAPAN JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER SHINO ABE
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