China puts Japan in cross hairs with blistering, sustained attack over alleged role in sea ruling


China has claimed to have unmasked Japanese malfeasance and “manipulation” amid a campaign to discredit an international tribunal ruling two weeks ago that largely invalidated Beijing’s claims to most of the South China Sea.

In the days since the July 12 ruling on a case brought by the Philippines before the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration, top Chinese officials and state media outlets have unleashed a blistering and sustained attack on Japan over what Beijing has described as “meddling” in its affairs.

From warnings to unsubstantiated claims, the scathing attacks have targeted both the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Japanese officials involved in the PCA legal process on an almost daily basis.

Experts say China’s verbal onslaught has mainly been for domestic consumption, as Beijing seeks to assuage the loss of face it was dealt with the ruling. Japan — long used by China’s ruling Communist Party as a tool to stoke nationalism in the country over Tokyo’s past militarism — has been the perfect foil.