US warship crosses Taiwan Straits attempting to shift its domestic pressure: analyst

By Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/5 15:23:40

The aircraft carrier Liaoning formation returns to a military port. Photo: cnsphoto

A US warship made a transit through the Taiwan Straits on Thursday, the seventh of such an event in 2020. The move is not only preparing the US military for a potential conflict in the region and an attempt to provoke the Chinese mainland, but also an attempt to shift domestic pressure from widespread protests, COVID-19 and a poor economy, for which the Chinese mainland should maintain its strategic focus and not dance to the US' tune, analysts said on Friday.

The USS Russell transited the Taiwan Straits on Thursday "in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific" region, the US 7th Fleet said on Friday on its Facebook account.

This is the seventh time a US warship has sailed through the Taiwan Straits this year, Taiwan media reported.

The USS Russell is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer with a displacement of around 8,000 tons. With a length of about 154 meters, it is equipped with anti-air, anti-ship and land-attack missiles and torpedoes. This class of destroyer is one of the main battle surface vessels of the US Navy and has frequently passed the Taiwan Straits.

US warships' transits through the Taiwan Straits provides an opportunity for the US Navy to gather related military intelligence including hydrologic information, allowing the US to become familiarized with the sea area and gain initiatives in a potential military conflict, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Friday.

Such an operation is also sending the wrong signal to Taiwan secessionists and letting them think the US military is backing them up, which is also a provocation to the Chinese mainland, Song said.

The latest US destroyer transit came at a time when the US is facing huge domestic pressures including widespread protests that were triggered by the death of African American George Floyd, the world's most  COVID-19 infections and deaths and a depressed economy.

US President Donald Trump is attempting to shift these domestic pressures by instigating a provocation with China, which is likely to become an election issue, Song said, adding that China should maintain its strategic focus and not dance to the US' tune.

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has the firm will and full capability of resolving the Taiwan question if it comes to that, and this cannot be changed by some US warships' transit through the Taiwan Straits because the PLA had an overwhelming advantage in the region, analysts said.

Frequent and intensive amphibious landing and naval drills are continuously being held by the PLA, including amphibious tanks storming the beaches, civilian ships transporting tanks and armored vehicles across the sea and training missions by the aircraft carrier Shandong and other advanced warships, recent reports show.

Posted in: MILITARY

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