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In an appeal for international support, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed concerns over China’s military actions in the region while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The speech furthered the premier’s foreign policy push to subdue Beijing in the coming years.
“We must restrain military expansion in Asia…which otherwise could go unchecked,” Mr. Abe told global leaders attending the forum. “If peace and stability were shaken in Asia, the knock-on effect for the entire world would be enormous” (Agence France Presse).
While China and Japan have been historical rivals, much of the current tension centers around a dispute over ownership of potentially mineral-rich islands in the East China Sea. CNN reported that “both nations’ military vessels and aircraft have navigated and scrambled ominously in the vicinity of the disputed islets.”
There have also been growing strains in Sino-American relations. This includes a near collision between Chinese and U.S. navy vessels on the open seas in December 2013.
The New York Times reported that the event “was one more example of the growing rivalry between China, a rising maritime power, and the United States, the dominant naval power in the Pacific region since World War II.”