China has pledged that it will take a firm response if Japan would cause trouble in the South China Sea. The statement comes after a report that Japan plans to send its largest warship, the Izumo helicopter carrier into disputed waters.
Japan’s warship plans to make stops in Singapore, Indonesia, Sri-Lanka and the Philippines before proceeding to the Malabar joint naval exercise with U.S. and Indian navies in the Indian Ocean on July, according to sources from Reuters.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying at a press briefing said: “If Japan persists in taking wrong actions, and even considers military interventions that threaten China’s sovereignty and security… then China will inevitably take firm responsive measures,”
China has always insisted that non-claimant nations should not interfere with the South China Sea territorial dispute which involves Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Australian government supports Japan’s planned naval transit saying: “The Australian government supports the right of all nations and their vessels to traverse international waters according to international law.”
It is noted though that while China is worried of Japan’s intentions in the South China Sea, China nevertheless is moving at full throttle with their expansion program to develop and militarize disputed islands in the region. The latest development by the Chinese is the ongoing construction in the North Island of the Paracel group of islands which is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.
According to reports, “China recently expanded a runway on Woody Island and may have deployed surface-to-air missiles to assert its military presence in the area,”
See Related Story: New Construction Work by China Spotted on Disputed South China Sea Island