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Japan, Australia increasing military budgets amid Chinese aggression

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Amid escalations by Chinese military aggression in the South China Sea, countries like Japan, South Korea, Australia and Singapore are all increasing their military budgets and spending as a response to the aggression they have experienced from China. After signing a security pact with the Solomon Islands, China has increased its military activities in the Pacific region, Singapore.

Post reported. Japan’s relations with China are deteriorating over geopolitical tensions amid strong undercurrents of anti-China sentiments and security threats. People in Japan have already expressed their displeasure over China making claims on Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Islands in Chinese).

The patrolling of the Senkaku Islands, the uninhabited islands controlled by Japan, by China is one such tactic where China continues to use tactics in the Taiwan Strait, the Washington-based group Global Strat View said. China and Taiwan have laid claims to the Island causing Japan to increase its fortifications on the Yonaguni Islands, which is closest to Taiwan. Around 70 sightings of Chinese vessels were reported outside the contiguous zone of 24 nautical miles by Japan last year.

Liu Pengyu, the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy, stated that the Diaoyu Islands belonged to China and that they were determined to safeguard the territorial sovereignty. Several countries including India, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore are increasing their military budgets and spending as they face increasing aggression from China.

The Diaoyutai Islands have the highest regional tensions with China as the country has increased its presence in the sea surrounding the Islands.

 The locals have expressed fear of disruption of their peaceful existence and their livelihoods being taken away if China limits their access to fishing grounds. The country has prevented comparisons between Taiwan and Ukraine, and has termed it their “internal matter,” Global Strat View said. China’s President Xi Jinping has not avoided talking about the unification of China and Taiwan. Joseph Wu, the Foreign Minister of Taiwan, has mentioned that the island is watching China closely as the events in Ukraine unfold. China, being more powerful than Taiwan, has better chances of overtaking Taiwan than Russia, but the risk of involving the US is higher and they have turned to intimidation and pressure.

The example of Ukraine and Russia are being used to display the devastating realities of war and to make the people in Taiwan submissive. Consequently, the people of Taiwan have made local efforts to protect themselves from an uncertain future by conducting workshops to teach and empower people to survive in warfare while waiting for government resources. The increasing aggression by China has caused the Taiwanese people to prepare for the unknown even though a peaceful resolution can still be attained.

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