China-Japan relations: Taiwan’s Defence strategy!

by Ramesh pokhrel
China -Japan relations and Taiwan's defence strategy!

China is concerned about the Japan-Taiwan inter-party diplomacy and the internalization of their mutual security interests in Taiwan.

The National Security Law about the increasing interference in the internal affairs of Hong Kong.  Japan seeks to check and balance the Chinese aggressive military posture in Taiwan.

Xi has successfully implemented the National Security Law in response to the growing interference in Hong Kong’s internal affairs.

But, the contentious Taiwan issue would ultimately form Xi’s political legacy as the paramount leader among the previous four generations of the Chinese Communist Party’s political leadership (Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao).

The bilateral ties began with the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Beijing in December 2018. Abe and Xi discussed economic cooperation and opportunities for building joint infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia.

Abe also raised Japanese concerns about the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, human rights, and the detention of several Japanese citizens on espionage charges during his official visit. Abe’s China policy displayed restraint in criticizing Chinese maritime assertiveness and human rights violations while promoting dialogue on issues of common concern, including trade and investment.

Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga followed Abe’s policies during his brief tenure. In reciprocity, China also sent its national team along with sports officials to participate in the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

However, in a significant policy change, Japan has changed its China policy to raise security concerns publicly, which previously used to be done behind closed doors.

Under the Kishida administration, this shift in Japanese policymaking is confirmed by the recent adoption in the lower house of a resolution on Japan’s “diplomatic boycott” of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and the “human rights situation” in Xi Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

Nevertheless, it also appears that bilateral trends call for a new policy framework through dialogue and discussions to safeguard common interests in multi-layered bilateral relations.

In the economic sphere, China exercises a financial advantage due to the sheer size of its market. In contrast, Japan is concerned about its over-reliance on the Chinese market, which could later be used against its strategic interests. Kishida plans to diversify its trade basket with other countries to protect its economic security.

To reduce over-reliance on the Chinese market, Japan announced subsidies for 57 of its China-based factories to relocate to Japan and 30 new companies to set up in Southeast Asian countries.

In the security sector, China’s new Coast Guard law authorizes the use of lethal weapons on foreign ships in disputed Chinese-claimed areas. The looming increase in the Chinese military budget forces Japan to approve a record Defense budget and consider options for acquiring military strike capabilities on enemy targets.

Kishida is revising the Abe-era National Security Strategy 2013 and working on two defence build-up research plans to strengthen national security scenarios in the South China Sea In the security sector, China’s New Coast Guard law authorizes the use of lethal weapons on foreign ships in disputed Chinese-claimed areas.

China views the growing Japan-Taiwan relationship as a threat to its security and strategic interests. The Xi administration currently affirms strategic patience on the Taiwan issue, but Taiwan remains an issue that may constrain China-Japan diplomatic relations.

On April 2021, Wu Xianghao, China’s assistant foreign minister, summoned the Japanese ambassador to China and condemned former Prime Minister Abe’s statements on the Taiwan issue. In recent days, Abe has been relatively consistent in raising concerns against China’s possible coercive unification of Taiwan and the ties of Japanese security with the Taiwan issue. China is closely following the alignment and coordination between the United States and Japan on the Taiwan issue, the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands dispute, and human rights violations in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet.

Nevertheless, China believes that the real instigator in East Asia is the United States; Because Japan is still playing second fiddle to the United States.

The geographic proximity between Taiwan and the nearest Japanese-inhabited island—Ishigakijima—is only 200 miles apart, highlighting the respective security interests of Japan and Taiwan. In Tokyo, it is important to prevent the problem of democratic Taiwan, that is, the forced integration of Taiwan into China.

China’s aggressive military postures and increasing entries of fighters and bombers in Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) tend to destabilize East Asia and the Indo-Pacific region. For this reason, the issue of Taiwan is of utmost importance in bilateral relations.

To better contextualize the Taiwan factor in China-Japan relations, one needs to look briefly at four political documents that have been compared to Taiwan.

China-Japan relations have focused on the hot economics and cold politics formula that To a large extent, trade and investment are based on people-to-people contacts and multi-domain exchanges.

Japan therefore constantly reiterates that it is important to maintain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. To discuss and discuss the Taiwan issue Must be sorted through Marsh. However, the rise of China as the biggest economic and military power in Asia has Xi excited about the issue of Taiwan.

The Taiwan issue within the four political documents signed in 1972, 1978, 1998 and 2008 to stabilize bilateral relations. The 1972 Joint Communiqué normalized bilateral relations and led to the signing of peace treaties in 1978, the 1998 Joint Declaration promising annual visits by both sides of the leadership, and the 2008 Joint Statement on Cooperation of Common Interests.

Over the past fifty years, China has been bidding time In Taiwan; This is why Japan-Taiwan relations have not become a prisoner of Japan’s economic engagement with China and its security alliance with the United States.

But now, it seems the Taiwan issue will decide the future trajectories of their bilateral ties as Xi looks to build on his political legacy with a possible coercive unification of Taiwan.

The changing geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific region, the ongoing strategic competition between China and the United States, and rising tensions in China-Japan relations have underscored the changing dynamics in China-Japan bilateral relations with Taiwan.

That Japan, primarily uses the United States-Japan Security Treaty to strengthen its involvement in Taiwan.

China-Japan peace and friendship in 1978 The treaty and subsequent diplomatic documents do not mention the United States–Japan Security Treaty and its role in Taiwan.

Therefore, Japan is looking for ways to strengthen its involvement in Taiwan and minimize its implications for Japanese strategic and security interests.

China is concerned about the growing Japan-Taiwan-United States triangular engagements and their implications for the Taiwan issue; This is the reason why the Xi administration is trying to improve its bilateral relations with the Kishida administration.

Xi wants to guide bilateral relations to avoid any Japanese interference in Taiwan. Xi wants to guide bilateral relations to avoid any Japanese interference in Taiwan.

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