CHINA / MILITARY
US warships’ Taiwan Straits transit, S.China Sea drill futile to contain China: observers
Published: Jul 29, 2021 12:28 PM
Two fighter jets attached to a naval aviation brigade under the PLA Southern Theater Command prepare to take off in alongside formation during a 2-day continuous flight training exercise from February 24 to 25. Multi types of fighter jets participated in the flight training mission which included various offense and defense operations.  Photo:China Military Online

Two fighter jets attached to a naval aviation brigade under the PLA Southern Theater Command prepare to take off in alongside formation during a 2-day continuous flight training exercise from February 24 to 25. Multi types of fighter jets participated in the flight training mission which included various offense and defense operations. Photo:China Military Online



A series of provocative moves by the US including sending a warship through the Taiwan Straits and holding a separate exercise in the South China Sea on Wednesday amid US officials' tours to Asia are an attempt to contain China not only politically but also militarily, but the tactic won't succeed because the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) holds unrivaled advantages on its doorsteps, Chinese analysts said on Thursday. 

The PLA Eastern Theater Command organized maritime and aerial forces, tracked and monitored the USS Benfold guided missile destroyer when it made a transit in the Taiwan Straits on Wednesday, Senior Colonel Shi Yi, spokesperson of the command, said in a statement released on Thursday.

It marked the seventh time a US warship has transited the Taiwan Straits this year, observers said.

Its repeated provocations show that the US is the biggest disruptor of peace and stability as well as creator of security risks in the Taiwan Straits, Shi said.

Troops of the PLA Eastern Theater Command stand ready to deal with all kinds of threats and provocations, and are determined, confident and capable of safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity, the spokesperson said.

Also on Wednesday, the littoral combat ship USS Tulsa, the guided missile destroyer USS Kidd and an explosive disposal detachment formed a surface action group in the South China Sea, according to a statement the US 7th Fleet released on its website on the day.

This is the first time a US littoral combat ship and destroyer have joined to form a surface task group, supplemented by navy expeditionary forces, the 7th Fleet said, noting that this could expand capabilities that enable the fleet commander to execute a full spectrum of maritime and theater littoral warfare operations, on, above and below the water.

The US warships' movements came shortly after US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman's visit to China on Monday and amid tours by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin to India and Southeast Asia since Tuesday.

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Thursday that the US is attempting to contain China's power in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in terms of military, as it is determined to maintain its military hegemony and political influence.

A UK aircraft carrier task force led by the HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier entered the South China Sea earlier this week and was lurking around the region on Wednesday, according to the monitoring of the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative, a Beijing-based think tank.

The US warships are encouraging the UK vessels to provoke China in similar ways and gang up with the US in confronting China, Song said.

But despite the muscle-flexing of the US military and its allies, the PLA is the stronger force on China's doorsteps thanks to comprehensive factors including not only troops, but also the systematic combat capabilities and logistics support, Song said.

The PLA has been preparing for this, and the advantage is on the Chinese side, Song said.

China is holding multiple military exercises in sea areas including the Bohai Strait, the Yellow Sea and the South China Sea this week, according to navigational restriction notices released by the Maritime Safety Administration of China.


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