U.S. Sends Two Warships Through Taiwan Strait Sparking Further Tensions With China

Donate

U.S. Sends Two Warships Through Taiwan Strait Sparking Further Tensions With China

USS Antietam (CG-54). IMAGE: US Navy

The US Department of Defense sent two US warships through the Taiwan strait in another clear provocation to Beijing.

Tensions between the US and China remain high amid the trade war, which has also leaked in other areas of interest such as Taiwan and the South China Sea.

Taiwan’s defense ministry and the Pentagon say the warships passed through international waters on October 22nd. Taiwan said it was aware of the “routine” operation and reiterated its capability of defending its maritime territory and airspace security.

Both the US and Taiwan say that the operation took place in international waters. Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning told reporters during a press briefing that “in the Taiwan Strait, earlier today, USS Curtis Wilbur and USS Antietam conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit in accordance with international law.”

“The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Manning said. “The US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law permits.”

Manning added that in conducting the transit, the US “maintained coordination and contact with the appropriate nations, authorities and parties”. It was “certainly not the Department [of Defence]’s intention to raise tensions or any kind of escalation,” according to the spokesman.

Another Pentagon spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan said that the Pentagon had not received “any information talking about unsafe and unprofessional encounters with any Chinese vessels.”

The move is likely to prompt a Beijing response, as the South China Morning Post cited Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang who told press in Beijing that the US should “correct its mistakes, stop any official contact, military ties and arms sales to the Taiwan region.”

Lu also claimed that the US should hold back “Taiwan independence” forces in case it further harmed the already damaged China-US relations or peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

This follows US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Singapore on October 18th.

According to the South China Morning Post, Mattis reportedly had tried to explain to Wei that US policies toward Taiwan were unchanged.

“Minister Wei raised Taiwan and concerns about our policy. The secretary reassured Minister Wei that we haven’t changed our Taiwan policy, our One China policy,” Randall Schriver, a US assistant secretary of defence for Asian and Pacific security affairs, was cited by Reuters.

Mattis also reportedly seeks more resilient ties with the Chinese military, so as to navigate tension and avoid an inadvertent conflict.

On October 16th, the South China Morning Post reported that a think tank affiliated to the Chinese State Council warned China to prepare to for more US provocations. The report also urged Chinese authorities to do more to win over Southeast Asian countries because it faces “long-term” struggle to counter US influence.

Regarding the trade war itself, China is making steps toward Chinese “self-reliance.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the southern Chinese province of Guangdong on October 22nd. That is where the precision moulding plant and a key laboratory at Gree Electric Appliances in Zhuhai, one of the country’s biggest manufacturers are located.

During his visit he said that his country must develop its manufacturing industry and technology to become a “strong” country, according to the People’s Daily.

“To go from a big country to a strong one, we must give paramount importance to the development of the real economy,” Xi said. “Manufacturing is a key to the real economy, and the core strength of manufacturing is innovation, or the control of core technologies. We must … seek innovation by relying on ourselves, and I hope all enterprises will work in this direction.”

On October 21st, the Financial Times cited Larry Kudlow, the White House top economic adviser. According to him Beijing had offered no sign that it was willing to meet US demands regarding “unfair trade practices”, ahead of a likely meeting between Trump and Xi at the G20 in Argentina next month.

According to Kudlow, the US had given Beijing a “detailed list of asks,” however the Chinese side has provided no response whatsoever.

Beijing maintains that it supports free trade and blames the US for the trade war.

Recent US moves in imposing tariffs on further imports, as well as sanctions on ZTE Technologies for allegedly trading with Iran have renewed Chinese efforts to cut reliance on imports.

During his trip, Xi said China must show “backbone and determination” in growing its own technological strength and enhance “independent innovation capabilities.”

On the morning of October 23rd, Xi attended the opening ceremony of a Chinese mega project. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, the world’s longest sea bridge is intended to increase the link between the two former colonies and the mainland.

There appears to be no sign of the US reducing the pressure on China. In addition to constant provocations in the South China Sea, the trade war, US officials and mostly Donald Trump are also accusing Beijing of meddling in US internal policy and meddling in the incoming mid-term elections. No evidence has been provided to support any of the claims.

Donate

SouthFront

Do you like this content? Consider helping us!

  • Lazy Gamer

    Hmmm. From a bargaining standpoint, it seems that the US should know that it is not big enough to antagonize Russia, and China, at the same time and isolate itself from its allies. From the past months, it seems that the US has worked hard just to do that. lol Maybe, their window of time is limited.

    • Promitheas Apollonious

      until the end of this year give or take few days.

    • You can call me Al

      God willing (in response to your last sentence).

    • Sinbad2

      The US thinks its power is limitless, the US suffers from megalamania.
      The propaganda the American ruling class fed to the people has also brainwashed the ruling class.

  • You can call me Al

    “According to Kudlow, the US had given Beijing a “detailed list of asks,” however the Chinese side has provided no response whatsoever.”…….. I mean, WTF ?, “asks” = “demands”…. their arrogance is just so unbelievable; words fail me.

    • occupybacon

      Just two rows above it says demands. it’s a saying: Speak softly and carry a big stick. China can read it “ultimatum”, “warnings”, “or else”…or whatever. They would have eating grass by now without the commerce with USA.They should lick their boots and butts, but you see, the Americans are too polite people.

      • Sinbad2

        The opposite also applies, GM would lose money if not for Chinese sales, Apple would lose money if not for Chinese sales. The whole American economy would, and in fact will collapse without the Chinese market.
        Everybody is going to eat grass, but the Chinese will survive, the Americans will start eating each other.

        • occupybacon

          Yeah they will return 30 years back in time when they were eating each other.

    • Sinbad2

      China has been trying to maintain global stability during the change of the guard(empire)
      But I think they have just about had enough of American petulance.
      I think they intend to destroy the US, by allowing the Chinese economy to crash.
      I know that sounds weird to the western mind, but that is exactly why it will work.

      After the global crash, China Russia and a few other countries that have gold, will rule the world.
      Hasta la vista, baby.

      • You can call me Al

        It does sound weird, but that would answer 1 thing that really irritates me, in that why are the Chinese still carrying over 1 trillion of US debt.

        I am not saying I agree with your theory, but it is intriguing. Nice one, cheers.

        The rest of your comment is spot on.

        • Sinbad2

          The 1 trillion of US debt that China holds is defense.
          You have probably noticed how the US sells down the currency of any nation that disobeys?

          If the US starts selling down Yuan, China sells down dollars.
          The US tried it a few years back, and China sold billions of dollars to support the Yuan, which sent the value of the US dollar down.

          It seems the Chinese have thought this thing through, they leave nothing to chance. That’s why the US reverting to tariffs and guns, but there again the Chinese seem to have prepared.

          • You can call me Al

            Good comment.

  • Rick E.

    Russia and China should send their battleships close to our shores but in international waters! Then, when our government starts bitching and yelling about the dangerous behavior of the Chinese and Russians, they can loudly state that basically they’re doing a freedom of navigation exercise!
    At the least, this would showcase our government’s hypocrisy in this foolish behavior of constant provocations!

  • so

    US military power. It’s like the sound of a leaking faucet….drip…drip….drip…..

    • Ivan Freely

      It’s pretty much over. The USD collapse is within the near future.

  • Empire’s Frontiers

    What’re some of your opinions on the mainland Chinese claim to Taiwan?

    Promitheas, Tudor, Florian, and the gang?

    • BMWA1

      Not interested in Tommy’s ‘opinion’?

      • Empire’s Frontiers

        He doesn’t talk straight, and every post is a very fragile swing at humor.

        Whatever his real opinion, he’s got an act to put on for us.

        • You can call me Al

          Empire. Tommy is a troll, stay well away from him or better still block him.

    • PZIVJ

      Florian may be busy driving around town right now.
      @disqus_buw9aRYaZ2:disqus
      Al, can you fill in for him? :)

      • You can call me Al

        You mean just below your comment ?, if so I shall love to do it. Let me know.

        • PZIVJ

          Empire wanted someone to discus Taiwan with.
          So I gave you a ring, did it work?. :D.

          • You can call me Al

            Oh Taiwan, I didn’t see that, sorry. I did mention to him however that Tommy was a troll.

            oh this – ”
            I like you well enough, Sinbad, but an obtuse answer like that just covers readily available history and geography.

            What’s your opinion of the PRC claim to the island today.

            Real Taiwanese or not, a civilized, armed, and independent government exists on that island.

            So what’s your opinion of the mainland claim to the island?” ???

          • PZIVJ

            I was curious if @ works correctly.
            Can respond to multiple people at the same time? Did it show up in your in box ?
            If so, I can also make phone calls. LOL

          • You can call me Al

            No sign in my inbox, but I’ll be back after looking at settings. Can you see which inbox it should have turned up in ?. Let me know please.

    • Sinbad2

      Some facts, Taiwan or Formosa has a bit of history, the indigenous population were almost exterminated by the Dutch in the 1600’s, then the Spanish moved in. The Dutch and Spanish imported Chinese workers. Then China moved in and threw the European colonialists out. It remained in Chinese hands until the Japanese attacked and annexed it in the late 1800’s.
      After WWII the US backed army of Chiang Kai Shek was defeated and retreated to Taiwan, and the US determined that Taiwan was China, and the mainland didn’t exist(not recognized)?
      The people who rule Taiwan are Chinese, but are vassals of the USA.

      The real Taiwanese the Tsou are simply ignored.

      • Empire’s Frontiers

        I like you well enough, Sinbad, but an obtuse answer like that just covers readily available history and geography.

        What’s your opinion of the PRC claim to the island today.

        Real Taiwanese or not, a civilized, armed, and independent government exists on that island.

        So what’s your opinion of the mainland claim to the island?

        • Sinbad2

          Well the Chinese claim is more valid than most, because, The UN returned all Japanese occupied lands to the original owners, China in this case, at the end of WWII.
          When Chiang Kai Shek ran to Taiwan, it was because he lost the Chinese civil war. The only reason China didn’t finish him off, was because the US sent the 7th fleet to protect Chiang Kai Shek.

          So yes Taiwan is China, just like Hong Kong and Macau are also China.

          • Empire’s Frontiers

            Is that regardless of the inhabitants’ wishes?

          • Sinbad2

            No it’s regardless of Americas wishes.

            It’s the US that keeps the trouble brewing, just like it does in Korea.
            If at a referendum free from American interference, the people wanted to secede from China I would be in favor. However that’s not how the world works, when the American southern states tried to secede, the US destroyed the south. The people of Kosovo were not given the opportunity to decide their future, the US did it for them. The US annexed Panama, took Cuba Haiti and the Philippines as colonies.

            China is like America, only they don’t pretend to be your friend whilst they f*ck you.

        • Ivan Freely

          Empire, the Chinese population on Taiwan do not live in isolation. There are significant number of families that live on both sides of the Strait, and none want a war except those who are pro-Japan. Unknown to most, Chiang Kai Shek (CKS) is not revered on Taiwan. So the infighting is no different than what the US is experiencing now between the two political parties. The oligarchs living in Taiwan is considered Old Money with respect to the mainland counterparts. The concern is the loss of their wealth; thus, the division.

          Taiwan have also been a battleground between Beijing and Tokyo. So the shenanigans isn’t always coming from Washington. I look at Taiwan in the same light as Lebanon, but not nearly as complicated.

          As for validity of claim of the mainland, I consider it valid as Taiwan was a Chinese province when Chiang Kai Shek was in power. The Taiwan provincial governor was a strong supporter of CKS, which is why the Nationalists were allowed entry on their retreat from the mainland. Unfortunately, Beijing wasn’t able to complete the Civil War for many reasons. Besides US interference, Mao’s forces simply didn’t have a Navy of note to retake the island province.

  • Brad Isherwood

    Just a reminder to Trump Jammie Tweet land
    https://www.warhistoryonline.com/history/chinese-submarine-appeared-in-the-middle-of-a-carrier-battle-group.html

    Excerpt Asia times :
    mysterious launch in November 2010.[5]

    This led to speculation by some pundits that the mysterious contrail was from a Chinese missile launched by a Hainan-based Jin-class SSBN submarine off the California coast, to display Beijing’s displeasure over US and allied naval exercises in the South China and Yellow Sea earlier that year.[6] Reportedly some Asian intelligence sources believe the submarine transited from Hainan through South Pacific waters where US anti-submarine warfare detection capabilities are not as effective, and then transited north to waters off Los Angeles.

    This seems far-fetched, but the ability of Chinese submarines to sneak up on the US undetected is not entirely implausible, given in 2007 a Chinese submarine popped up in the middle of a US naval exercise and embarrassed the military chiefs.[7] By the time the 160ft Song Class diesel-electric attack submarine surfaced, it was within viable range of launching torpedoes or missiles at the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk—a 1,000ft aircraft supercarrier with 4,500 personnel on board.

    In October 2015, a Chinese submarine again stalked the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan for “at least half a day” off the coast of Japan, although the US Navy declined to disclose whether it was able to detect the submarine before it surfaced.
    ******

    Under Sea Dragons ….which are invisible …..with Nuclear fireballs!. : )

    • Ivan Freely

      There was also a similar case on the Canadian East Coast.