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Chinese think-tank warns of military clashes with Japan

Last Updated: Friday, May 31, 2013 - 00:46

Beijing: A Chinese think-tank has warned that China may get involved in a military conflict with Japan over the disputed Diaoyu Islands, as "big powers" have intensified their efforts for geopolitical and military dominance in the strategic Asia-Pacific region.

An annual report released Tuesday by the Centre for National Defence Policy (CNDP), a part of the Academy of Military Sciences of the Chinese People`s Liberation Army (PLA), has stated that big powers have intensified their efforts for regional dominance and United States has accelerated its eastward shift of its strategic focus.

"Amidst the strategic competition among big powers, the fierce oceanic competition and frequent regional conflicts, the complexity, sensitivity and uncertainty of China`s security environment loom large," official Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying.
The report came amid the latest flare-up in China`s row with Japan over the disputed Diaoyu Islands in East China Sea.

The report noted that the Asia-Pacific has become "the new global geopolitical, economic and military centre" and big powers have intensified their efforts for regional dominance as "the US has accelerated its eastward shift of its strategic focus."

It warned that a military clash with Japan could happen if the dispute escalates, saying the confrontation between the two countries over disputed Diaoyu Islands in East China Sea may extend from the sea to the air.

It further cautioned that row will not only seriously jeopardise Sino-Japanese relations, but would also threaten regional stability.
"The security situation around China has become complex and uncertain due to US `Asia-Pivot` strategy and increasing territorial disputes," said Shen Shishun, executive director of the Asia-Pacific research centre with China Foundation of International Studies.

Stating that shift of the US strategy targets China, Shen said, "US wants to stir up disputes in the region to offset China`s growing economic and political clout in the Asia-Pacific region".

"While the US has repeatedly said it does not pick sides between China and Japan over the Diaoyu row, it at the same time claimed that the Diaoyu Islands fall within the scope of Article 5 of the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security," Shen told the state-run Global Times.

He warned that this is a dangerous game that could spiral out of control and finally hurt the US.

The review, covering hot issues in the international community, such as the Korean nuclear crisis and the Iran nuclear issue, mainly revolves around the security situation of the Asia-Pacific region.

The Chinese foreign ministry on Tuesday rejected Japan`s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga`s remarks that a speech made by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Germany "ignored history" amid the row over the Diaoyu Islands.

During his visit to Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam, the site of the Potsdam Proclamation in 1945, which set the terms for Japan`s surrender in World War II, Li said that all the territories Japan stole from China, such as Northeast China, should be restored to China.

Founded in December 2011, the CNDP is tasked with researching major theories on national defence policies and drafting annual strategic reports on national security environment.


First Published: Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 19:04

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