China expanding its capabilities so it can deploy in the East China Sea AND the South China Sea
Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Risk Briefing, September 7, 2018
China’s government has spent heavily to upgrade its military. The aim of this is partly to provide China with the capacity, if needed, to press its claims to sovereignty over Taiwan, and areas in the East and South China Seas.
China’s aggression in the East China Sea is increasing
Abraham M. Denmar, Asia Program Director & Senior Fellow at the Kissinger Institute on China and the United State, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholar, September 5, 2018, https://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/090518_Denmark_Testimony.pdf Prepared Testimony Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on East Asia, The Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy “The China Challenge: Military and Security Developments”
In recent years, China has dramatically enhanced its capabilities and intensified its operational posture in the East and South China Seas. Beijing’s goal is to advance its territorial claims in those areas, and more broadly to expand its geopolitical power at the expense of its neighbors. In the East China Sea, Beijing’s efforts to advance its claims has involved the use of low-intensity coercion operations by the PLA Navy, the CCG, and the PAFMM. These so-called “gray zone” tactics fall below the level of a confrontation that would demand a traditional military response, yet over time have the effect of gradually increasing pressure on Tokyo and testing its resolve and that of the U.S.-Japan Alliance.
South China Sea conflict risks increasing
Benn Wescott, 8-15, 18, https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/15/asia/duterte-china-south-china-sea-intl/index.html
Beijing should ‘temper’ its behavior in the South China Sea, Duterte says
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has called for the Chinese government to tone down its behavior in the South China Sea, warning ongoing tensions could spark an accidental conflict. Speaking Tuesday at the Malacanang Palace in Manila, Duterte said the heavily-contested region could become a “flashpoint.” “I hope that China would temper at least its behavior. I do not want to quarrel with China,” he added. The Philippines and China have been engaged in territorial disputes over parts of the South China Sea for decades, along with Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. Content by ProColombia Where is the Blue Wall dive site? Adventures are ready to be discovered. Beijing claims an enormous swathe of territory in the region, and has heavily-fortified artificial islands under its control in the Spratly and Paracel chains. Duterte said despite China’s behavior to the contrary, the majority of the South China Sea was international waters. “The right of innocent passage is guaranteed. (Countries) do not need any permission to sail through the open seas,” he said. A 2016 international tribunal case, brought against China by the Philippines, found Beijing’s claims to the region for invalid. To reinforce the region’s status as international waters, the US Navy regularly runs “freedom of navigation” operations through Chinese-controlled waters, infuriating authorities in Beijing. But Duterte said the behavior of the Chinese and US navies in the South China put the region at risk of conflict. “One of these days, a hot head commander there (could) just press a trigger,” he said.
Recent increases aggression in the ECS
South China Morning Post, 9-3, 18, https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2162494/japan-claims-china-escalating-military-actions-around-disputed Japan claims China is ‘escalating’ military actions around disputed Diaoyu Islands
Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said China had been “unilaterally escalating” its military activities in the past year, including carrying out new airborne operations around Japan and running a nuclear submarine near disputed East Coast isles. Itsunori Onodera addressing officials during a meeting at the Defence Ministry in Tokyo on September 3, 2018. Photo: Reuters “China has been rapidly improving its military strength and fast increasing its military activities,” Onodera told an annual gathering of the top brass of Japan’s Self-Defence Forces. “It is unilaterally escalating its military activities in the sea and aviation spaces around our country. This has become a significant concern for our country’s defence.” Onodera made the remarks as Tokyo tries to improve its tense diplomatic ties with Beijing, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expected to visit Japan’s biggest trade partner next month. On coming to power, Abe took a firm position on Japan’s claims to the Diaoyu Islands – which Tokyo calls the Senkaku Islands – a disputed chain in the East China Sea, aggravating tensions with Beijing. SKIP AD But he has since softened his rhetoric, and called on China to press North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programmes. A Chinese submarine in the East China Sea in January, 2018. Photo: Reuters Japanese businesses have voiced a desire for closer ties with China to boost trade. Onodera also said Russia was flexing its military muscle. Moscow is planning to hold its biggest drill since the cold war era and is taking powerful weapons, including ground-to-air missiles, to the disputed Southern Kuril islands, he said. “We are seeing movement to again push forward its military activities in the Far East,” he said. Onodera also repeated that North Korea continues to pose a “serious and imminent threat” to Japan, despite international diplomacy intended to convince Pyongyang to denuclearise.