Following Japan deployment of Patriot missiles on Miyako Island close to the island of Taiwan, Chinese media claimed this was Japan's attempt to interfere in the "Taiwan question."
Japan's Air Self-Defense Force has deployed PATRIOT PAC-3 missiles at its Miyako Island base in Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture, Hirokazu Matsuno, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, said on Monday during a press conference.
While Matsuno said the Patriot missiles target potential long-range ballistic missile launches from North Korea, Chinese media reports said the missiles could target Chinese warplanes that frequetly conduct "patrols" near Taiwan in an attempt to threaten the tiny island's air force which is insufficiently equipped to deter the mainland's large air and naval force.
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) frequently sends warplanes and warships between the island of Taiwan and Yonaguni Island in routine patrols and drills encircling the island of Taiwan, as well as through the Miyako Strait into the West Pacific for far sea exercises, Chinese media said.
Japan's PATRIOT missile deployment in its southwestern islands obviously has nothing to do with the Korean Peninsula, which is far away, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Its real purpose is to arm the islands with anti-air and anti-ship missiles and prepare for a military intervention in the Taiwan question, so it is a very provocative move aimed at China, the expert said.
In response, China should further enhance its capabilities in countering potential military intervention attempts by external forces, Wei said.
Another factor of worry for China is that Japan and the Philippines could start joint patrols in the South China Sea along with the US and Australia in the third quarter of 2023.