China has built a naval military installation on an island off its port city of Wenzhou, Japanese media have alleged, insisting the move advances Beijing’s claim to Tokyo-administered Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands.
Referring to the new 80-meter-long installation as a frontline “pier for warships,” Japan’s major news outlets further alleged on Friday that it was constructed on Nanji Islet – one of 52 islands in the Nanji chain in China’s Zhejiang Province – and also boosts Beijing’s claim to disputed waters around them.
The development comes as a dispute over the East China Sea islets – known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China – remains high. Encounters between naval vessels and aircraft from the two countries have increased the possibility of a confrontation.
This is while the Japanese Coast Guard released a video earlier this week, allegedly showing hundreds of Chinese ships “breaching” the disputed waters, RT reported.
According to the report, China’s military is erecting a large military base with complex radar installations in the Nanji chain, which lie about 300 kilometers from the islet chain at the center of a territorial dispute with Japan. The base is designed to boost China’s readiness to respond to a potential military crisis and strengthen surveillance over an air defense identification zone it declared in the area in 2013.
Meanwhile, Japan is also seeking to develop and deploy a land-to-sea missile system designed to enhance its military might and naval defense in the East China Sea.
A Japanese defense ministry source was cited as saying by Reuters on Friday that Tokyo is seeking a record defense budget of 5.16 trillion yen ($51 billion) for next year, in light of the tensions in the region, including the Chinese military built-up as well as the North Korean threat.
Part of the money, the report said, will be spent on upgrading Japan’s PAC-3 missile defense system and the joint Japanese-US production of the Block IIA version of the Standard Missile-3 system to shoot down missiles at higher altitudes.
The budget will also provide for boosting Japanese coast guard near the disputed waters with China, as well as purchasing an upgraded version of the US-built F-35 stealth fighter.
Moreover, Japan plans to develop a prototype drone jet fighter within the next two decades with private sector help in a technology strategy that focuses on weapons communications and lasers, the report added.