China experts warn of Washington-Tokyo-Seoul triple alliance
Japan is considering deploying long-range missiles to counter China, media reported. And the United States and South Korea are launching the largest military exercise in recent years that not only targets North Korea but also flexes American muscle for Beijing.
Japan is considering deploying 1,000 long-range cruise missiles to boost its capabilities against China, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Sunday.
These missiles will be modified to increase their range from 100 to 1,000 kilometers, the publication said, citing sources in government.
According to Yomiuri, the ship- or aircraft-launched weapons will be deployed primarily around the southern Nansei Islands and capable of reaching the coastal regions of North Korea and China.
Japan, which interprets its post-war non-war constitution to mean it can only use its military in self-defense, has increased its military spending and adopted a more aggressive strategy in recent years, CNN reports. But for now, Tokyo has refrained from deploying long-range missiles, including with regard to weapons that can hit targets on foreign territory.
Tensions in the region have intensified this month after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, which is claimed by China. In a follow-up exercise, Beijing fired missiles near Taiwan and into Japan's exclusive economic zone.
Meanwhile, China is concerned about the actions of the United States and its regional allies near its borders. The United States and South Korea are starting their biggest joint military exercise in four years on Monday, amid escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula. Chinese observers have warned that the exercise will heighten tensions across the peninsula and across Asia as a whole, with countries in the region, including China, on high alert.
According to media reports, the US-South Korean exercise will include live firing the participation of tens of thousands of military personnel of the land, sea and air forces. The maneuvers will include joint mock attacks, reinforcement of forward units, and simulations related to ensuring the safety of the use of weapons of mass destruction.
The units will also practice the use of drones for surveillance and a number of new developments in the field of warfare that have emerged against the backdrop of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, a spokesman for the South Korean Ministry of Defense told reporters in Seoul.
North Korea condemned the exercises as a general rehearsal for an invasion of the north, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
As Sino-U.S. relations have become more confrontational, especially after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a provocative visit to the island of Taiwan on August 2 despite strong Chinese opposition, these U.S.-led joint military exercises target not only North Korea, but and to flex the American muscles in the Asia-Pacific region, demonstrate its military presence in the region and contain China, Lu Chao, an expert on the Korean Peninsula at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.
predicted that the US would likely deploy more strategic weapons such as aircraft carriers and strategic bombers during the exercise, noting that China needs to be vigilant as tensions rise in the Taiwan Strait.
The military exercises will escalate tensions in the Korean Peninsula, which has always been considered a “powder keg” in the Asia-Pacific region, and the development of the situation on the peninsula will affect peace and stability in Northeast Asia and even around the world. Asia, Lu warned.
If chaos breaks out on the Korean Peninsula, it will also pose a threat to China's national security. Beijing will not sit idly by, Chinese military expert and TV commentator Song Zhongping told the Global Times.
Furthermore, the exercise will inevitably attract Japan's attention, and the possibility of Japan participating in military exercises between the United States and China cannot be ruled out. South Korea in the future, Sun predicts. The U.S. is making efforts to build a tripartite military alliance, a military expert has warned.
The U.S. Department of Defense said the U.S., South Korean and Japanese navies have taken part in a missile warning and search exercise. and tracking ballistic missiles off the coast of Hawaii from Aug. 8 to Aug. 14, which he said were aimed at further trilateral cooperation “in the face of challenges from North Korea,” AP said in an Aug. 16 report.