Amid China’s incessant attempts to change the status quo of east and south China seas, defense officials in Japan on Sunday said that they intend to closely monitor how China will increase its defense spending this year.
As per 2021’s draft budget at the annual session of the National People’s Congress, the Chinese government increased its defense budget by 6.8 per cent from last year to about 209 billion dollars. That’s around four times Japan’s defense budget for fiscal 2021, starting in April.
China has been claiming the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and there have been many incidents of incursions of Chinese ships in Japanese territorial waters.
Japan controls the islands but China and Taiwan also lay their claim. Japan maintains the islands as an inherent part of its territory, in terms of history and international law. It said that there is no issue of sovereignty to be resolved over them.
The Japanese government plans to call on the Chinese side to increase transparency through security talks and exchanges as they are unaware of the type of equipment Beijing is planning to deploy.
Further, they reiterated to closely analyze and monitor the activities of the Chinese military.
In January, China’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, passed the coastguard law that empowers the coastguard to use “all necessary means” to deter threats posed by foreign vessels in waters “under China’s jurisdiction”.
It allows the coastguards to launch pre-emptive strikes without prior warning if commanders deem it necessary.
Under the new law, coastguard personnel can demolish structures built or installed by other countries in Chinese-claimed waters and board and inspect foreign ships in the area.
China has been increasing its maritime activities in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea over the past few months, partly in response to Beijing’s concerns over the increasing US military presence in the region because of escalating Sino-US tensions.