Military links opposed: official

By Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/17 22:53:41

US naval ‘research’ ship docks in Kaohsiung port

Two Su-35 fighter jets and a H-6K bomber fly in formation on May 11, 2018. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) air force conducted patrol training over China's island of Taiwan on Friday. Su-35 fighter jets flew over the Bashi Channel in formation with the H-6Ks for the first time, which marks a new breakthrough in island patrol patterns, said Shen Jinke, spokesperson for the PLA air force. (Xinhua/Liu Rui)

 The Chinese mainland resolutely opposes official contacts and military links in any form between the US and the island of Taiwan, said the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council in Beijing on Wednesday in response to media reports saying a US Navy vessel docked at a Taiwan port to refuel and make crew changes.

The standpoint of the Chinese mainland is consistent and clear, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson of the office, said at a routine press conference on Wednesday.

Chinese experts said on Wednesday that the US is testing the Chinese mainland's bottom line and the vessel poses a serious threat to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) despite Taiwan authorities stressing that it is for scientific research, not military use.

The remarks of Ma and experts came after Taiwan newspapers reported Tuesday that the Thomas G. Thompson, a scientific research vessel under the US Office of Naval Research, docked at a port in Kaohsiung, Taiwan on a scientific research mission.

The US Office of Naval Research is a scientific research unit under the US Navy, said these reports.

Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times Wednesday that the so-called academic purpose and scientific research are only covers for military activities.

A vessel like Thomas G. Thompson has potential to gather hydrological information of sea areas around the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, Song said.

Upon gaining this information, US submarines can be stealthier and more capable of an ambush near Chinese waters, posing a serious threat to the PLA Navy, he said.

Taiwan's "defense minister" Yen De-fa said that it was already the fourth time the research vessel has visited Taiwan this year, Taipei-based China Times reported on Tuesday.

The mainland must not stop preparing for a potential military struggle with Taiwan, Song said, noting that the vessel's visit is a move to test the Chinese mainland's bottom line.

Jin Yi, an expert at the Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the move violated the one-China principle in having military contact between the US and Taiwan, and may promote Taiwan separatists toward more dangerous moves.

"The ties between China and the US are already in a difficult time with the trade dispute, and the US is adding fuel to the fire if it challenges China's core interest," Jin said.

Song said that "if the mainland does not respond to this, more supportive vessels will come and dock in Taiwan."

"Combat vessels like Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers, or even amphibious transport docks and a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier might come in the future," Song noted.


blog comments powered by Disqus