Recently, Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the Chinese invasion on Taiwan would constitute a significant threat to Japan. Japanese politicians realized China's expansion and assertive reunification would threaten Japan's maritime channels security.
In the 21st Century, China has been marked in a big way in expansion and coercion on its neighbours. Debt trap diplomacy, forced drought, forced floods, threatens small, medium and island Countries, supporting non-state fundamentalist Jihad actors and authoritarian military rulers, unilateral artificial villages in the border, dictatorial attitude to change land-water boundaries has made China a force of burden to the world. From the South China Sea towards Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, India, Korea-all the neighbouring and maritime countries are facing the brunt of China. Who can forget Wuhan Lab and the question of the Origin of the COVID-19 Virus, which China is not cooperating with world organizations?
The East China Sea geographically separates China and Japan and their relationship emanated from the history of the Japanese war and the imperialism and maritime disputes in the East China Sea. It was strained at times by Japan's refusal to acknowledge its wartime. The Japanese government blames the expansion of the People's Liberation Army, and its assertive actions have damaged the bilateral relation. The Senkaku Islands dispute also resulted in several hostile encounters in the East China Sea. Heated rhetoric, and attack on Japanese Companies in the People's Republic of China (PRC) have strained relations.
Meanwhile, Taiwan, a Japanese colony for 50 years until the end of World War II, has improved relations at height. With the U.S.-Japan defence alliance and Washington's powerful support for Taiwan, Taiwan has become an economic and democratic powerhouse.
Taiwan People want status quo-independence and do not want to go with China despite strong economic and cultural links. China's insistence that Taiwan must peaceful or forceful assimilation has no support in Taiwan except China's establishment. Every day, China threatens with military and air power on Taiwan by violating international rules. As Japan and Taiwan have a great relationship, the ball has fallen in the court of Japan vs China on Taiwan now?
Recently, Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in a virtual speech on Taiwan-Japan relations to a Taipei-based think tank, warned China by saying, "I think that Japan, Taiwan and all the democratic countries need to keep urging President Xi Jinping and the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party not to step onto a wrong path. The military adventure would lead to economic suicide. A Chinese invasion on Taiwan would constitute a significant threat to Japan and, therefore, an emergency for the Japan-US alliance. He said, "People in Beijing, especially President Xi Jinping, should never have a misunderstanding in recognizing this."
He went further and supported the application of Taiwan in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. This Tokyo-led trade grouping emerged from the Trans-Pacific after former U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned it. "I will support Taiwan's participation," Abe said, adding that the organization is "crucial in order to keep strengthening the international order based on rules. I think Taiwan is more than qualified to participate."
The one issue which haunts the Chinese establishment in Beijing is when Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe further said, "Japan to not stand by if the Chinese mainland attacks the island of Taiwan. A Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency, therefore an emergency for the Japan-US alliance. Normally, Japanese establishments do not play with words and issue these statements. As Taiwan is under direct attack from China, Japan has firmly stood with it. East Asia knows the proverb day before yesterday Macau, Yesterday Hong Kong, Today Taiwan then Mongolia later Japan Islands is understood and felt."
Japanese politicians realized China's expansion and assertive reunification would threaten Japan's maritime channels security as China will forcibly capture the Diaoyu Islands, Ryukyu Islands, and others after the reunification. China's national defence budget is around $200 billion, four times higher than Japan's.
According to Pew Research, only 11% of the Japanese express a favourable opinion of China, while 14% of the Chinese say they have a positive view of Japan. In both countries, positive views of the other nation have decreased since 2006.
Japan's defence minister, Nobuo Kishi, said China was attempting to use its power to unilaterally change the status quo in the East and the South China Sea, which are crucial to global shipping, including waters and islands claimed by several other nations. So he has urged European countries to speak out against China's aggression, warning that the international community must bolster deterrence efforts against Beijing's military and territorial expansion amid a growing risk of a hot conflict. Tokyo had "strong concerns in regards to the safety and security of not only our own country and the region but for the global community," Kishi warned.
Finally, one can say that as the Japanese defence minister said, there is a strong signal of the rising international concern over China's military ambitions in disputed regions like the South and the East China Sea, the Indian border, and in particular, Taiwan. His remarks were echoed by senior figures on the island, with Taiwan's former head of navy and deputy defence minister also warning that more deterrence was needed. With China ratcheting up military activity in the region, experts and global military figures have also warned that small confrontations or maritime accidents could quickly escalate into a full-blown conflict.
U.S., Australia, European parliament, as well as the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands, have shown interest in supporting a free and open Indo-Pacific", but it is important for many countries to speak out about the situation, and this itself will become a deterrent". America has increased its presence in the region, issuing warnings to China and pledging support to those targeted. The U.K. has also announced a permanent military presence in the Indo-Pacific, while French warships have participated in joint exercises with the U.S. and Japan, and Germany recently sent a warship for the first time in two decades.
What is happening in the Indian Border, the East China Sea, and the South China Sea is a regional problem and a problem for the international community. Drew Thompson, a former U.S. defence department official responsible for managing bilateral relations with China and Taiwan, said all governments should be asking themselves: "What are you doing to raise the cost to Beijing for pulling the trigger?" China has made arms race in East and South Asia. For now, like Taiwan, Japan should also support and stand with India in a big way, then and only democratic actors can check authoritarian military governments. It should become an Indian emergency, a Japanese emergency, and therefore an emergency for the world democratic alliance. Then one can checkmate authoritarianism and expand governments. For now, the war has begun.