CHINA / MILITARY
PLA monitors US warship’s provocative Taiwan Straits transit, vows countermeasures
Published: Nov 23, 2021 05:45 PM
A Su-30 fighter jet attached to an aviation brigade of the air force under the PLA Southern Theater Command soars into the sky during a flight training exercise on October 10, 2019. (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Lyu Shiqiang)

A Su-30 fighter jet attached to an aviation brigade of the air force under the PLA Southern Theater Command soars into the sky during a flight training exercise on October 10, 2019. (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Lyu Shiqiang)

 

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) tracked and monitored a US warship when the latter transited the Taiwan Straits in a risky and provocative move on Tuesday, despite US President's promise to not support "Taiwan independence" and his commitment to maintain peace and stability in the Straits made during the recent virtual meeting with China's top leader.

The USS Milius guided missile destroyer on Tuesday sailed through the Taiwan Straits, and the PLA Eastern Theater Command organized naval and air forces to track and monitor the vessel through its entire course on high alert, Colonel Shi Yi, a spokesperson of the PLA Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement on the same day.

Shi said the US move created security risks and harmed regional security. Shi added that the command troops will take every measure necessary to resolutely counter all threats and provocations, and firmly safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

A PLA Navy Type 054A guided missile frigate was following the USS Milius when the latter started to transit the Taiwan Straits from south to north on Monday, the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI), a Beijing-based think tank, revealed on Tuesday, citing commercial satellite imagery.

Six PLA warplanes, namely four J-11 fighter jets and two Su-30 fighter jets, entered Taiwan's self-proclaimed southwest air defense identification zone on Monday, according to a press release by the island's defense authorities.

US warships have recently showed off strength and stirred up trouble many times under the guise of "freedom of navigation," Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson at China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said during a regular press conference on Tuesday.

This is deliberate disruption of regional peace and stability, Zhao said, demanding the US to correct its mistake at once and stop crossing the line and playing with fire.

The voyage of the USS Milius marked the 11th Taiwan Straits transit by US warships in 2021, and also the first time after the virtual meeting between the top leaders of China and the US last week.

At the meeting, US President Joe Biden reaffirmed "the US government's long-standing one-China policy," and stated that the US does not support "Taiwan independence" and expressed that peace and stability should be maintained in the Taiwan Straits, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

The Taiwan Straits is a highly politically sensitive region, and the US warship's transit will release the signal of supporting Taiwan secessionists, Song Zhongping, a Chinese mainland military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The US military's action shows that US politicians are not trustworthy, and China needs to follow its own plans and safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests in its own ways, Song said, noting that the US should not make the wrong move and renege on Biden's promise.


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