“China has strengthened its military capacity very quickly and we don’t know what China’s intentions are,” Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told the European Parliament’s Security and Defense Subcommittee.
“And we are seriously concerned about this,” he said via video link.
NATO leaders said Monday for the first time that China’s rise to power presented “systemic challenges.” US President Joe Biden’s eight-day trip to Europe focused on rallying support for a US strategy to contain China’s rise to power.
The Chinese mission to the EU rebuked NATO and said it was “engaged in a defense policy of a defensive nature”.
Kishi told EU lawmakers that China’s ballistic missiles, its decision to increase its defense budget to four times that of Japan, and its militarization of the South China Sea islands should be “watched with vigilance” to “preserve the peace “.
“They are increasing their national defense budget enormously,” he said. “The international community must speak with one voice to approach China,” he said, also calling on Beijing to explain why it is also rapidly developing its air force, now the third in the world, according to US Department of Defense data. .
China has the world’s largest navy, with more warships and submarines than the United States, the world’s largest military power, according to U.S. data, based on 2019 developments.
China also has more than 1,250 ground-launched ballistic missiles and ground-launched cruise missiles with ranges between 500 km (311 miles) and 5,500 km, a range longer than the United States. The United States does not have ground-launched cruise missiles, according to US data, after signing arms control agreements with Russia to which China is not subject.