China alert: Japan prepares to scramble fighter jets against Beijing

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Fujian, located on the east coast of China, is an important military outpost as it can access the East China Sea and is near to the island of Taiwan. Japanese jets will now be scrambled when any Chinese military craft leave the airbase while the country’s Air Self-Defence Force planes have also been flying low in the East China Sea to monitor Beijing’s movements. The new tactic comes amid growing tensions between China and Japan over the Senkaku Islands, government sources confirmed to the Japan Times.

The islands lay far to the west of Japan’s Okinawa Islands but with Beijing attempting to solidify its claim in the region, Japanese jets will now be scrambled far past the country’s own airspace.

According to Japan’s Defence Ministry, Japanese jets were scrambled against Chinese aircraft 638 times from 2018 to March this year.

In a further breakdown of relations between Japan and China, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government began to pay firms to become less dependent on Beijing.

Tokyo will now subsidise some companies in order to invest in factories in Japan.

Approximately 57 companies will now receive money from the government to move production to Japan as the state becomes the latest to try to separate itself from China.

Also in the East China Sea, Beijing has issued a series of threats towards Taiwan.

Xi Jinping wants to bring the island under his ‘One China’ policy despite the island being an autonomous state.

China has violated Taiwanese airspace multiple times in the last few months and accused the country’s President, Tasi Ing-wen of attempting a separatist plot against Beijing.

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China has also warned Taiwan against providing any aid to Hong Kong separatists following the imposition of the new security law.

Chen Po-wei, a Taiwanese lawmaker said this month: “Hong Kong has become less free, so our sense of fear has increased.

“Because of China’s nature, there is a high possibility of conflict.”

Beijing had also attempted to force Taiwanese officials in Hong Kong, to sign documents concerning the ‘One China’ policy.

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As tensions escalate, military drills were conducted in the waters between the two countries by Taiwan.

The Taiwan Strait flows into the South China Sea where Beijing has increased its territorial claims.

Both the US and UK have now sent warships to the region in order to block any Chinese aggression.

Alexander Neill, an Asia-Pacific security consultant in Singapore said: “Given the militarisation of the South China Sea, the prospect of an accidental collision and the potential for unmanaged escalation of hostilities are strong and they are mounting.”

Such is the extent of China’s aggression that US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo ushered in a new era of American policy in the South China Sea.

Rejecting Beijing’s territorial claims, he insisted the US will not allow China to strengthen its “naval empire in the region”.

He said: “Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them.

“The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire.

“America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources, consistent with their rights and obligations under international law.”

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