Japan on Tuesday flagged the Chinese army’s growing role in shaping the country’s foreign policy as a security risk, saying a sense of caution exists across East Asia about Beijing’s apparent military expansion.
In its annual defence white paper, Tokyo said it is believed that relations between the People’s Liberation Army and the Communist Party leadership were “getting complex” which was a matter of concern.
There is a possibility that the degree of military influence on foreign policy decisions was changing, the paper said, calling it a risk management issue. Moreover, China’s senior officers, intelligence advisers and maritime agency chiefs have been increasingly outspoken in calling for Beijing to take a tougher line in regional territorial disputes.
Referring to the disputes, like that with Japan in the East China Sea, Tokyo’s views echoed the findings of a 2011 paper that welcomed China’s growing role on the world stage.
A year ago, China’s rapid military build-up suggested that the defence budget had risen 30-fold in the past 24 years.