The United States, Japan and China The United States changes its military strategy against Beijing. Tokyo key to defend Taiwan

US Marines will be deployed around the Okinawa Islands, armed with anti-ship missiles and drones to keep the Chinese navy at bay. After the military reform, Japan will take a more active role on the side of the Americans. It is unlikely that countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia will allow the deployment of new US combat units.

Rome (Asia News) – The United States is shifting its military strategy to contain China’s geopolitical rise in the western Pacific. A turning point in which Japan would assume an increasingly important role, especially in the defense of Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.

In his meeting today at the White House with Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will sign an agreement to enhance security cooperation between the two countries, as agreed in recent days by the relevant foreign and defense ministers.

Japan announced last month that it would gain the ability to respond to enemy bases in the event of an emergency thanks to a significant increase in military spending. According to critics, the decision violated the country’s “peace-loving” post-1945 constitution. For the government, this is “minimal self-defense” in the face of threats from China and North Korea. Kishida’s plan is to double the military budget to 2% of GDP within five years.

For its part, the Pentagon confirmed its intention to create a new regiment of marines by 2025: two thousand men will be dispersed on the islands of Okinawa Prefecture, in the far south of Japan. They will be provided with light equipment to be able to move quickly from one island to another. With anti-ship missiles and drones, they will have to keep the Chinese naval forces at a distance, preventing them from leaving the East China Sea. All this is to give Washington time to strengthen its naval forces in the face of Beijing’s advances in this field.

The Okinawa archipelago extends 100 kilometers from Taiwanese territory. In response to a visit by Nancy Pelosi, then the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, to Taipei in August, the Chinese conducted missile “practices” in northeastern Taiwan, in an area that overlaps Japan’s exclusive economic zone, near the Sakishima Islands. In two of these, Yonaguni and Miyako, there are bases for the Japanese Armed Forces. And at a third site, Ishigaki, a forward base with surface-to-air and anti-ship missile systems is under construction.

Tokyo fears that if Taiwan falls to China, its sea lines of supply will be threatened. Instead, Washington is obligated by bilateral agreements to defend Taipei, which Beijing views as a “rebel” province that should be reconquered.

According to Chinese military strategist Guodong Chen, the US’s choice to change the deployment of its forces in Japan, and arm them with portable missiles and drones, is a “correct strategic direction.” Talking to Asia News The expert, whose studies are being used by the Chinese military on the use of missile forces to retake Taiwan, notes that the military plan is valid only “if the enemy is no better.”

In this sense, Beijing’s air and naval capabilities are being tested in real conflict. But critics of the Pentagon’s new approach to East Asia warn that, to be effective, it would need to cover the entire “first island chain,” from southern Japan to eastern Indonesia. There are strong doubts that Jakarta (and Manila) will accept new rapid-fire units from the US Marine Corps.

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