The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) handled a provocative transit in the Taiwan Straits made by US and Canadian warships on Saturday, with a Chinese destroyer reportedly forcing the US vessel to alter course by cutting in front of it, showing determination and capability in countering the provocation, experts said on Sunday.
Coming against the background of the US failing to arrange a meeting between Chinese and US defense chiefs during the ongoing Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore amid rising tensions, the latest Taiwan Straits transit, led by the US, again showed the US’ lack of sincerity, analysts said.
The US Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon and the Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montréal made a transit through the Taiwan Straits on Saturday, and the PLA Eastern Theater Command organized naval and aerial forces, tracked and monitored them through the whole course, and handled the situation in accordance with law and regulations, Senior Colonel Shi Yi, a spokesperson at the PLA Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement late on Saturday.
These countries deliberately stirred up trouble and risk in the Taiwan Straits, maliciously undermined regional peace and stability and sent wrong signals to the “Taiwan independence” forces, Shi said.
The command troops are on high alert at all times and will take all necessary measures to firmly deal with all threats and provocations, and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and regional peace and stability, the spokesperson said.
Shi’s statement came after the US and Canada hyped their warships’ transit through the Taiwan Straits, including Canadian news outlet Global News releasing a video on Saturday, which showed a PLA Navy Type 052D destroyer picking up speed and cutting in front of the bow of the USS Chung-Hoon from left to right, forcing the US warship to alter course and slow down to avoid a crash as the two vessels were reportedly within 150 yards (137 meters.)
The maneuvers in the Taiwan Straits share resemblances to another recent incident in which a PLA Air Force J-16 fighter jet intercepted a US RC-135 reconnaissance plane when the latter attempted to spy on the PLA Navy Shandong aircraft carrier group’s routine training in the South China Sea on May 26, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Sunday.
Both incidents were caused by US provocations in sensitive regions on China’s doorsteps, followed by US failure to listen to Chinese radio warnings, led to professional PLA tactical maneuvers, which were then hyped by Western media attempting to shift blame to China, hype “China threat” and pressure China on the Shangri-La Dialogue, the expert said.
It showed that the US has no sincerity at all in communicating with the Chinese side, and if any accident happens, it would be the US who must shoulder the blame, the expert said.
If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will not hesitate for a second, as China must be and will be reunified, Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu said at the Shangri-La Dialogue on Sunday, also urging the US to act with sincerity, match its words with deeds and take concrete actions to work with China in the same direction to stabilize the relationship between two armies.