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Chinese President Xi Jinping had an option to avoid firing missiles into Japan's EEZ but instead tried to rattle Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. (Nikkei montage/AP/Reuters)
China up close

Analysis: Xi ditched milder options in sending missiles toward Japan

Military had prepared last-minute alternatives that avoided controversy

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

Katsuji Nakazawa is a Tokyo-based senior staff and editorial writer at Nikkei. He spent seven years in China as a correspondent and later as China bureau chief. He was the 2014 recipient of the Vaughn-Ueda International Journalist prize.

When China fired five ballistic missiles into Japan's exclusive economic zone following U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, there was little doubt where the order came from.

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