In addition, China's Defense Minister Chang Wanquan recently said that the country must prepare for the "people's war at sea" to defend national security and territorial integrity from maritime threats.
However, Maslov does not think that Beijing poses a threat to its neighbors regardless of what they claim. "I don't think that China will attack anyone. [Beijing] has never done anything like that in its military and political history," the analyst said.
"True, China has increased its military spending. The country's armed forces total more than 5 million people, including reservists. But you have to understand that China is concerned with the destabilization that is taking place in East Asia," he explained.
Maslov mentioned that relations with Japan, Vietnam and China's other neighbors have become more complicated in the last five years. North Korea has also been a source of major concern for Beijing and other nations.
In this context, the analyst added, China's investment in defense should be viewed in terms of its relations with the United States.
"If the United States decides to intervene [in a local standoff], then a regional conflict will erupt. It is a very bad scenario. If on the other hand the US does not deploy its fleet and only threaten Beijing with sanctions, then there will be a prolonged conflict without a military component," he suggested.