China and the South Korean-Japanese alliance


We find that it is likely that Beijing will continue its opposition to the moves of Japan and South Korea, with the help of Washington, seeking to enhance their military capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region.  Japan and South Korea, while China considers unacceptable measures, such as: Tokyo’s participation in the US missile shield system, or participation in a tripartite military alliance that includes the United States, Japan and South Korea.  Which Beijing does not accept

  Here we find China’s strong opposition to increasing new defense, security and military allocations in the Indo-Pacific region, especially since the new US-Japanese-South Korean alliance allows them to adopt a new security and defense strategy, and ensures Tokyo and Seoul to increase cooperation with Indo-Pacific countries with common goals, such as: Australia, Philippines and Taiwan, which Washington considers crucial in countering China’s influence, in light of the United States’ increasing strategic presence in the region.

 Also, the new Japanese document regarding increasing its defense and security budget in the face of Beijing with the encouragement of the United States of America, considering that Chinese military activities represent in an unprecedented way the greatest strategic challenge to ensuring Japan’s peace and security, and that it is a major source of concern for Japan and the international community, as the new Japanese document monitors  China’s continuous increase in its defense expenditures, the enhancement of its military capabilities on a large scale and rapidly, including its nuclear and missile capabilities, in addition to China’s intensification of its attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the maritime and airspaces in the East and South China Seas, such as its intrusion into territorial waters and airspace around the disputed Senkaku/Diayu Islands

With Japan’s assertion that the increasing Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s airspace is among the main security threats to the country, as China’s behavior could lead to a major conflict between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan, a conflict that Japan is likely to be drawn into, given its proximity to the Taiwan Strait, and the fact that  It houses a large US military base on the island of Okinawa, since it becomes a target for Chinese attacks.

  Japan’s defense strategy explicitly considers that North Korea’s military activities constitute a more serious and imminent threat to Japan’s national security than ever before, highlighting aspects such as North Korea’s rapid development of technologies related to intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as the strengthening of its nuclear capabilities in terms of quality and quantity. At maximum speed, in addition to Pyongyang launching last year only more than 50 ballistic missiles that fell into the waters between Japan and North Korea, and it also conducted one flight over Japan with an intercontinental ballistic missile last October of 2022.

  Here, China views South Korea’s new role under the alliance with the United States of America, and as a supplier of weapons as a threat to China’s regional influence, as Beijing believes that the new US-South Korean military alliance will allow countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, which see South Korea’s weapons as having  Relatively reasonable prices are an attractive option to develop their military capabilities against any possibility of Chinese aggression against them, according to their belief about Beijing.

  And here began the Chinese fear of those Japanese-South Korean moves and alliances with the help of Washington in the Indo-Pacific region, especially with the revelation of the intentions of US President John Biden’s administration with regard to China in the Indian and Pacific region. With the Biden administration giving priority to reforming US alliance relations in the Asia-Pacific region, and bringing US allies together in a unified approach, the United States is seeking to build more small (quadruple or tripartite) regional alliances, such as: the Quadruple Agreement between the United States of America, India, Japan and South Korea that were signed the “Aukus military defense agreement” between the United States of America, Britain and Australia to balance China’s military strength and support the rules-based international order, with the resumption of negotiations for the denuclearization of North Korea.

 In this context, too, the formation of a new alliance between the United States of America, Japan and South Korea, called (JAKUS).

 And that is in the Northeast Asia region, which Washington is trying to launch and announce quickly to hinder the growth and rise of China, especially in light of the availability of incentives for the possibility of forming this new alliance, perhaps foremost among them is the new American tendency to form a group of small alliances instead of the large and flabby NATO alliance, with the increasing Chinese, Russian and North Korean threats to US hegemony in the region, in addition to the occurrence of new changes in Japanese and South Korean foreign policy that tend towards the right and militancy towards China and North Korea with the help of Washington.

  Here, the possible Chinese response to these US alliances in the Indo-Pacific region will be the formation of an Asian-Chinese axis against the US alliances, consisting of China, Russia and Iran, as well as the possibility of Beijing exploiting those previous and deep-rooted tensions in relations between Japan and South Korea to its advantage.

Dr.Nadia Helmy
Dr.Nadia Helmy
Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Politics and Economics / Beni Suef University- Egypt. An Expert in Chinese Politics, Sino-Israeli relationships, and Asian affairs- Visiting Senior Researcher at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)/ Lund University, Sweden- Director of the South and East Asia Studies Unit


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