The rising might of China is causing it to act with increasing disregard towards its neighbours, a Japanese government-funded study said on Friday.
“China, against the backdrop of its rising national power and improvement in its military power, is increasingly taking actions that can cause frictions with neighbouring countries without fear,” said the East Asian Strategic Review.
The study, being published Friday by the National Institute for Defence Studies, is an annual venture commissioned by Japan’s defence ministry, and influences national defence policy.
Beijing and Tokyo have been at diplomatic daggers drawn since September when Japan nationalised some islands it controls in the East China Sea.
The Senkakus, which Beijing claims as the Diaoyus, are uninhabited but resource-rich and strategically-important islands that have been the scene of confrontations between government ships from both sides over several months.
However, the report noted, China’s preparedness for pushing its territorial claims was on the rise well before Tokyo angered it with the island nationalisation.
In January last year Beijing classed the archipelago as a “core interest”, ranking it alongside Tibet and Taiwan as an issue over which it would never give ground, the study said.