May 06, 2022

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

Featuring Jacob Stokes

Source: The Washington Post

Journalist John Hudson

A strong international response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is critical to deterring China from embarking on territorial conquests in Taiwan or the South China Sea, said Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi.

“China has been carefully observing the current situation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and they are paying particularly close attention to what kind of reactions the international community has been taking,” Kishi told The Post during an interview in Washington on Thursday.

The top Japanese defense official, speaking through an interpreter, said the global response will weigh heavily on Beijing and its “actions in the Asian region going forward.”

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That unity is not lost on Beijing, but analysts say the lessons China learns are far from certain. “China is clearly watching the forceful response from democratic countries, and they are likely surprised by its strength and unity,” said Jacob Stokes, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security. “At the same time, Beijing might conclude that China’s larger role in the global economy or Taiwan’s unique political situation might be enough to prompt a weaker response. Kishida’s comments are meant to disabuse Chinese leaders of such notions.”

Read the full story and more from The Washington Post.

Authors

  • Jacob Stokes

    Senior Fellow, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Jacob Stokes is a Senior Fellow for the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS, where his work focuses on U.S.-China relations, Chinese foreign policy, East Asian security affa...