Presence of US and Canadian warships in the Taiwan Strait will not prevent China from maintaining national unity (experts)

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A formation of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) air force patrols the island during training on April 26, 2018. Photo: Chinese Army

The U.S. military may have ally for the first time in recent years with warships from other countries to transit the Taiwan Strait as it explores ways to flex its military muscles in new provocations in the region amidst the tense strait situation. Chinese experts said on Saturday that the reported move showed the United States’ inability to contain China and that its efforts to rally allies to deter China from strengthening itself to maintain national unity were in vain.

They said China has a mature response mechanism against any provocation, as the country’s national defense authorities said on Friday that the PLA will maintain a high alert and stand ready to fight at any time.

According to satellite images, at around 10 a.m. on Friday, a US Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and a Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate were both spotted at the southern end of the Taiwan Strait while ‘they were heading north. , according to the South China Sea Situation Strategic Inquiry Initiative (SCSPI) think tank on Friday. They were suspected of being engaged in a joint transit operation through the Taiwan Strait.

The Chinese Defense Ministry has yet to confirm the information.

The latest reported development came amid a tense situation across the straits fueled by growing collusion between the United States and the separatist DPP authorities on the island of Taiwan and as various U.S. officials reiterated that the American commitment to the island of Taiwan is “solid as a rock”.

There is ample evidence to suggest that this Canadian warship is likely HMCS Winnipeg. If this turns out to be true, it will be the first time in recent years that warships from the United States and another country have jointly transited through the Taiwan Strait, SCSPI said.

HMCS Winnipeg has recently appeared frequently in the East China Sea and South China Sea. He arrived at Station 13 of the Yokosuka Fleet Activities Commander, for a scheduled port stopover in September, according to media reports. In early October, it joined naval exercises conducted in six countries by three American and British aircraft carriers in the Philippine Sea. It arrived in the Philippines on October 11 and was moored at the port of Manila until October 13, according to media reports.

According to AIS signals on Thursday, the warship sailed in waters south of Taiwan.

Ships in the Taiwan Strait, July 20, 2017. / CGTN Photo

Ships in the Taiwan Strait, July 20, 2017. Photo: CGTN

This is not the first time that HMCS Winnipeg has crossed the Taiwan Strait. He did it once in October 2020, according to media reports.

According to the 2021 Global Firepower Statistics, Canada ranks 21st out of 140 countries considered for the annual review. Canada’s total military strength is estimated at 112,500. It has 377 aircraft, of which there are 62 fighters / interceptors. The number of warships is 64.

Sun Xihui, an associate researcher at the National Institute of International Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Saturday that these figures show that Canada’s military strength is at the level of the middle powers and that there are still has a huge gap with the major powers like China, Russia and the United States.

Wang Yunfei, a Beijing-based naval expert and retired PLA naval officer, echoed Sun’s point of view and called Canada “a donkey in a lion’s skin.”

“The Canadian Halifax-class frigate is lagging behind the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) warships, and the PLA naval force has advantages over Canadian frigates of this class. The range of anti-aircraft or anti-ship missiles and the information control system of the Halifax-class frigates are both weaker than China’s Type 052D destroyers, ”Wang told the Global Times on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a USN MQ-4C drone entered the self-proclaimed ADIZ in southwestern Taiwan via the Bashi Channel to patrol on Saturday morning, Taiwanese media reported.

Sun noted that whenever foreign warships passed through the Taiwan Strait, the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command naval warships and air fighters tracked and monitored them.

According to Taiwanese media, PLA planes entered the self-proclaimed ADIZ in southwestern Taiwan in the early morning hours of Saturday.

“This means that China has a mature and stable mechanism as well as response plans. Whatever disruption may come from warships of one or more countries, China is confident to deal with it.” Sun said.

Wang said that the United States’ decision to woo other countries to send warships to the Taiwan Strait shows that the United States is unable to contain China’s ability to develop its maritime power and air in its coastal areas, and rallying its allies will not dampen China’s momentum. increase its strength to maintain national unity.

The United States recently stepped up its military maneuvers against China by rallying other countries, while keeping a high alert on China’s military exchanges with other countries.

Russia said one of its military ships chased the U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee on Friday that attempted to breach Russian territorial waters during Russian-Chinese naval exercises in the Sea of ​​Japan.

Nonetheless, a US military statement said the USS Chafee conducted operations in accordance with international law and custom.

The Russian Defense Ministry criticized the “unprofessional actions” of the crew of the American destroyer, which had “grossly violated international laws on preventing ship collisions at sea”.

A day earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had declared that “Russia considers Taiwan to be part of the People’s Republic of China”.

Cui Heng, an assistant researcher at the Center for Russian Studies at East China Normal University, told the Global Times on Saturday that Russia’s position shows Russia’s support for China in achieving national reunification and indicates that Russia has a clear understanding of global development and China’s growing strength.


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