Japan's Defense Ministry warns about Chinese military posturing toward Taiwan (and China isn't happy about it)

Taiwan Ministry of Defense via AP

A defense department white paper doesn’t sound like something likely to spark an international war of words but that’s what’s happened after Japan published an annual paper that mentioned the tension surrounding Taiwan:

“It is necessary that we pay close attention to the situation with a sense of crisis more than ever,” the paper said in a new section on Taiwan. “In particular, competition in technological fields is likely to become even more intense,” it said about the US-China tussle.

The defense review, which was approved by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government on Tuesday, points to China as Japan’s main national security concern…

Japan’s deputy prime minister and finance minister, Taro Aso, this month in a speech reported by Japanese media said Japan should join forces with the US to defend Taiwan from any invasion. Aso later said any contingency over Taiwan should be resolved through dialogue when asked about the remarks, which drew a rebuke from Beijing.

The US has been making an effort to get beyond the “strategic ambiguity” that has defined its relationship with Taiwan. Richard N. Haass, who worked in the State Department under President George W. Bush, wrote last year, “The time has come for the United States to introduce a policy of strategic clarity: one that makes explicit that the United States would respond to any Chinese use of force against Taiwan.” Now Japan seems to be sliding toward our side of the argument by warning that China’s military buildup (and frequent flights of bombers and fighters toward Taiwan) is destabilizing the region.

The concern over Taiwan isn’t just about America’s interest in preserving a functioning democracy and preventing it from being absorbed by the CCP. There’s also a significant American interest at stake. American tech companies are highly dependent on the advanced computer chips manufactured in Taiwan. If the island were to be taken over by China our tech sector and our economy would take a major hit, one that would potentially take many years and hundreds of billions of dollars to recover from.

Today, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian gave a statement about the Japanese white paper:

Recently, the Japanese side has been making issues out of China, grossly interfering in China’s internal affairs, making groundless accusation of China’s normal national defense and military activities, pointing fingers at China’s legitimate maritime activities and playing up the so-called “China threat”. This is extremely wrong and irresponsible. China deplores and rejects this.

I must stress that, Taiwan is part of China and the Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affair. China never allows interference in the Taiwan question in any form by any country. China must and will be reunified. A complete reunification of China is most beneficial to regional peace and stability.

This is the Chinese POV, one that is consistent with Xi Jinping’s recently stated commitment to full unification with Taiwan under the CCP. But for the moment that’s aspirational rather than reality. But it may not stay that way for much longer. China is pretty clearly looking for an opening, one that could happen in the next few years.

In the same press conference Zhao lashed out at the US when asked about a report sent to Congress on the cultural genocide in Xinjiang.

Here is a joke. In this US report there are the following words: “This Administration will defend and protect human rights around the world”. How hilarious! The US government has a deplorable human rights record that continues throughout history to the present. Some in the US are in the habit of giving prescriptions to others when they themselves are sick. A report following such absurd logic is completely worthless.

Here is another joke. In the report the US accuses the Chinese government of committing “genocide and crimes against humanity” in Xinjiang. This is an outrageous and preposterous lie. It has revealed the true face of the US government to the Chinese people. The US image in the hearts of the Chinese people has has collapsed and its credibility completely bankrupt. Speaking of “genocide and crimes against humanity”, the US has a better claim to them than any other country.

The US should not forget the innocent African American lives taken by the brutal Tulsa race massacre 100 years ago, the Indians who were cruelly expelled and slaughtered during the Westward Expansion, or the desperate cries of people like George Floyd. Due to US indifference to human rights, over 600,000 American lives have been claimed by COVID-19, ethnic minorities live in fear of racial hate crimes, refugees and immigrants are left in miserable conditions, millions of children suffer from abuse, poverty and forced labor. The US even condoned its troops’ illegal killing and abuse of foreign civilians in overseas military operations, of which there is iron-clad evidence.

The US is in no position to criticize other countries’ human rights conditions. No matter how some in the US go to great lengths along its misguided course to hype up lies on Xinjiang, their political conspiracy to disrupt Xinjiang and contain China will only end up in failure. The US had better direct more energy to actually resolving domestic human rights problems.

It’s interesting how Chinese “wolf warrior” attacks on the US sound indistinguishable from American leftists. I don’t think that’s because China cares about racism except as a wedge issue to exploit. China is jailing hundreds of thousands of Uighur minorities on the basis of race and religion. So they are really not in a position to be giving a lecture on this topic. But you have to give them some credit for correctly identifying the sore spot where they can hit us.