China is no longer making a secret of its ambition to gain dominance over the western Pacific as it sends its warships into Japanese territorial waters and contiguous zones. Behind these actions lies Beijing's cunning calculation of the international community's reactions.

When a Chinese naval vessel recently invaded Japanese territorial waters near Kuchinoerabu Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, Beijing insisted that the area constituted an "international strait" through which any ship can pass — thus resorting to a "legal warefare" for the first time.

With Japan unable to make a rebuttal, China's propaganda could very well impact global public opinion.