TOKYO — China risks triggering unintended conflict with Asian rivals through its aggressive stance in maritime disputes, Japan said Tuesday in a security assessment, as a Beijing minister urged preparations for a “people’s war at sea.”
China’s sweeping claims over the South China Sea, where it has built a series of artificial islands capable of supporting military operations despite overlapping claims from other nations, have stoked international alarm.
The region’s superpower “continues to act in an assertive manner” and its actions “include dangerous acts that could cause unintended consequences,” Tokyo said in a defense white paper.
Beijing is under pressure to respect a UN-backed tribunal’s finding last month that there is no legal basis for its ambitions over the South China Sea where the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and others also have claims.
And it again called on Beijing to abide by the ruling of the tribunal, which China has denounced as a fraud.
Chinese state media in Beijing quoted Defense Minister Chang Wanquan as urging preparations for a “people’s war at sea” to counter offshore security threats and safeguard sovereignty.
Chang “called for recognition of the seriousness of the national security situation, especially the threat from the sea,” Xinhua news agency said.
The military, police and people should prepare to mobilize to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said during a tour of the coastal province of Zhejiang, according to Xinhua.
The agency did not elaborate on the source of the threats.
Full article: Japan Warns China Over ‘Territorial Aggression’ (DefenseNews)