With five Missiles, China Sends Stark Signal to Japan and U.S. on Taiwan


North Korea has for years lobbed missiles into Japan’s waters without excessive incident. But for an progressively powerful and aggressive China to do the same — as it did Thursday as a part of military exercises — has sharply raised concerns in political and security circles from Tokyo to Washington.

Beijing’s firing of five missiles into waters that are portion of Japan’s exclusive economic zone, to the east of Taiwan, has sent a warning to both the United States and Japan about coming to the aid of Taiwan in the event of a conflict there, analysts said.

Beijing wants to remind Washington that it can strike not only Taiwan, but also American bases in the area, such as Kadena air base on Okinawa, as well as any marine invasion forces, said Thomas G. Mahnken, a former Pentagon official who is now president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

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