China is paying close attention to moves by Japan's new economic security minister — especially after the Oct. 31 general election — with the position expected to challenge threats posed by Beijing's communist-led government.

The post was set up by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who took office on Oct. 4, as Sino-Japanese ties have soured over issues surrounding democratic Taiwan, which China regards as a renegade province that must be unified with the mainland, by force if necessary.

If the new minister, Takayuki Kobayashi, aims to craft closer ties with Taiwan than China to safeguard Japan's economic security interests, the leadership under President Xi Jinping would take retaliatory steps against the Kishida administration, jeopardizing regional stability.