US and Japan execute military exercises – fears of conflict with China over Taiwan surge

China-Taiwan tensions at a point 'not seen in years' says expert

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Allied armed forces are conducting war training around the uninhabited Senkaku Islands, located 330 km (205 miles) from China and controlled by Japan. This revelation by The Financial Times comes a week after Japan’s Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi announced that the security of Taiwan is tied directly to Japan.

“The peace and stability of Taiwan are directly connected to Japan and we are closely monitoring ties between China and Taiwan, as well as Chinese military activity,” he told Bloomberg.

“As China strengthens its military, its balance with Taiwan is tipping heavily to the Chinese side.”

Yasuhide Nakayama, the Japanese deputy defence minister, spoke at the Hudson Institute think tank about the threat China poses to Taiwan. He believes is necessary to “wake up” from Chinese pressure on the country.

“We are not friends of Taiwan, we are brothers,” he said.

Serious preparations for a conflict with China began in the final year of Trump’s presidency.

Heino Klinck, a former top Pentagon official, told the Financial Times protecting Taiwan is crucial – and that it is important for the US and Japan to team up against the possibility of conflict.

“The Japanese government has increasingly recognised, and even acknowledges publicly, that the defence of Taiwan equates to the defence of Japan,” he said.

Last week, reports emerged suggesting China sent new and improved stealth fighter jets to its Air Force bases guarding the Taiwan Strait.

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China deployed its J-20 lethal stealth jets to Taiwan and the East China Sea on missions.

South China Morning Post, the Hong Kong based English-speaking paper, has reported that 150 J-20 jets set off to at least four Chinese aviation bases, including training bases in Mongolia and Hebei and two aviation brigades in the Eastern and Northern theatre commands.

China has not ruled out using force to achieving a desirable goal in regard to Taiwan.

Randy Schriver, formerly the top Pentagon official for Asia, told the Financial Times: “Some of the activities we’re training on are highly fungible.”
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