Yesterday, Beijing sent two vessels into the East China Sea near the Senkaku islands in a bid to assert its dominance and its territorial claims. T
Yesterday, Beijing sent two vessels into the East China Sea near the Senkaku islands in a bid to assert its dominance and its territorial claims. The disputed islands have been claimed by both China and Japan over the years.
The move has sparked a furious backlash, with China now accused of breaking international law.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said the incident was “absolutely unacceptable” and “regrettable”.
He added: “These activities are a violation of international law.”
The terrifying move comes after it emerged an increasing number of Britons worry China is a “critical threat” to the UK and called for an end of economic ties with Beijing.
According to a survey, undertaken by the British Foreign Policy Group, 41 percent of respondents regarded China as a critical threat, an increase from 30 percent last year.
Only 22 percent of the 2,002 people polled between January 6 and 7, 2021, supported economic ties between Britain and Beijing, while 15 percent wanted a ban on any level of agreement.
Just 13 percent supported China’s involvement in the UK’s infrastructure.
Only 21 percent of respondents said they trusted China to act responsibly in the world.
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This was the lowest out of the likes of the US (43 percent), Canada (89 percent), Japan (59 percent), the EU (60 percent) and India (40 percent).
The report said: “Over the past 18 months, the UK has undergone a dramatic transformation in its relations with China – in part spurred by an increasing awareness of security vulnerabilities, but also due to increasing alarm regarding China’s human rights record domestically and its behaviour as a global actor.
“This hardening of political attitudes towards China – only a matter of years since a new ‘golden era’ of relations was heralded – has been matched by a shift in the hostility of public opinion towards China.
“The UK Government now seeks to define and articulate the parameters of its ‘reset’ with China, and is considering how best to strike the right balance between security and openness, recognising the benefits of not only economic engagement but also diplomatic and geopolitical cooperation around shared challenges, such as climate change.”
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The report continued: “China experienced a further deterioration of public opinion during the peak of the first wave of the pandemic (increasing to 84 percent in distrust), which appears to have tapered off as the focus on the origins of the coronavirus has become less prominent.”
According to the report, just 40 percent supported Britain challenging China over its human rights record.
Around 38 percent of people supported cooperation with China over climate change, research and higher education and other shared global challenges.
This latest operation comes as China enacted the new “Coast Guard Law”, which allows the country’s coastguard to use weapons.
The law allows Chinese ships to take action if Beijing views any ships as entering its territorial waters.
Japanese media claimed one of the Chinese vessels was armed with a cannon and two ships had also threatened a Japanese fishing vessel.
Beijing justified its moves near the Senkakus claiming the waters in the East China Sea is its “inherent territory”.
This latest intrusion has sparked concern of a possible incident in the region as some of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party have pushed for more joint military exercises between the Self-Defence Force and US military.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden reconfirmed the security pact which says Washington will defend territories under Japan’s administration in the event of an armed attack.
International relationships towards China have plummeted over the last year following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, its treatment of Uighur Muslims and its crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy.