Russia and China are coordinating military exercises to threaten not only Taiwan but also Hawaii, according to a senior Japanese defense official who warned the United States to beware of a Pearl Harbor-style surprise attack. “We have to show the deterrence towards China, and not just China but also the Russians, because, as I told you, that they are doing their exercises together,” Japanese deputy Yasuhide Nakayama told the Hudson Institute this week.

Taiwan’s vulnerability to an invasion from mainland China has become a preoccupation of Indo-Pacific strategists in recent months, as Chinese Communist forces escalate their military drills around the island. Nakayama, who was unusually frank about the need for democratic nations to ensure Taiwan’s survival,

implied that Russia and China are working as allies preparing for a major conflict. “I think the Taiwanese are really concerned,” he said. “And also, they’re focusing on the two big countries collaborating and [presenting] a lot of threat towards Taiwan.”



Chinese Communist officials regard Taiwan as a renegade province, one that they have claimed since coming to power in 1949 but never governed. Most countries recognize the regime in Beijing as the official Chinese government and do not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, although the U.S. has maintained a friendly relationship and provided weaponry to help Taiwanese authorities deter an invasion from the mainland.

“We have to protect Taiwan as a democratic country,” Nakayama said before suggesting that world leaders may have erred during the Cold War by seeming to concede that Taiwan would eventually be reunited with mainland China. “Was it right? … I don’t know.” China’s Foreign Ministry protested his description of Taiwan as a “country” and alleged that Tokyo is trying to portray China as a threat in order to justify its own military buildup. READ MORE

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