US provokes China with Taiwan Straits transit, pressures trade talks: expert

By Yang Sheng and Xu Keyue Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/13 23:53:40

Warship movements kept under PLA surveillance


The amphibious dock landing ships Changbaishan (Hull 989, R) and Wuzhishan (Hull 987, L) attached to a landing ship flotilla with the navy under the PLA Southern Theater Command steam in formation in waters of the South China Sea during a three-dimensional amphibious landing operation from May 29 to June 3, 2019. Photo: eng.chinamil.com.cn


The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command said the US guided-missile cruiser's transit through the Taiwan Straits was kept under surveillance and Chinese experts said that China should strengthen its military capability as the US increases its military provocations targeting China's sovereignty over Taiwan, which could increase potential risks of a military conflict.

All movements of US vessel and aircraft are kept under surveillance by the Chinese military, Senior Colonel Zhang Chunhui, spokesperson of PLA Eastern Theater Command said on Wednesday while responding to the transit of US guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville through the Taiwan Straits.

"We urged the US side to abide by the one-China principle and Three Joint Communiqués, and cautiously handle matters related to Taiwan, and avoid damaging the China-US relationship and the peace and stability of the Taiwan Straits," said Zhang.

The Chinese military will remain on high alert at all times, and will resolutely safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Zhang noted on Wednesday.

A US warship transited the Taiwan Straits on Wednesday, the ninth time this year and the first since September, Fox News reported. 

The warship's presence in narrow waters between the island of Taiwan and the Chinese mainland is seen as a provocation given the Taiwan question, and adding interference in Hong Kong riots, the US wants to pressure China to make concession on other issues such as the ongoing trade war, said Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator.

"Guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) conducted a routine Taiwan Straits transit Nov. 12 (local time) in accordance with international law. The ship's transit through the Taiwan Straits demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific," said Commodore Reann Mommsen, spokesperson for the US 7th fleet.

Using the so-called freedom of navigation in the region is only an excuse to allow the US military presence in the Straits, Song noted. "This can also largely encourage the secessionists in the island."

To deal with this kind of provocation, the PLA should continue to strengthen its military capability, Song noted. 

"When US warships transit through the Taiwan Straits, the PLA should intensify its surveillance and even conduct an interception once it touches the bottom line and damages China's core interests and sovereignty," he said. 

A military expert at a Beijing-based PLA military academy who asked for anonymity, told the Global Times on Wednesday that no US vessel could survive an attack by PLA missiles if necessary, "so tactically we don't really worry about US military presence there."

China has repeatedly said it will not hesitate to use force over the Taiwan question if necessary so the US should not support Taiwan secessionists or underestimate China's determination and resolve even if it means unimaginable military conflict between China and the US, Song noted.

Shen Yi, a professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the Chinese people are tired and bored of the frequent presence of US warships in the Taiwan Straits as it attempts to grab attention to gain leverage.
Newspaper headline: US urged to stop provocations


Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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