Taiwan’s jets and navy ships scramble after China warships passage through Taiwan Strait

China Liaoning aircraft carrier / photo: ibnlive.in.jpg

A group of China warships sailed north by the Taiwan Strait, led by a single aircraft carrier, made Taiwan jumbled its jets and navy ships on Wednesday (11 Jan).

Reuters reported that Taiwan's defense ministry said, the Soviet-made Liaoning aircraft carrier and ships, which were on their way back from exercises in the South China Sea, did not trespass the Taiwan's territorial waters but entered in the Southwest on its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

China has stated that the Liaoning aircraft carrier was on exercise to test weapons and equipment in the disputed South China Sea and its movements adhere with international law.

The latest Chinese naval exercises have daunted its neighbors, especially Taiwan, which is claimed as its own by Beijing.

China has claimed almost all of the energy-rich waters of the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion (S$7.2 trillion) trade passes by ships every year. Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam also have claims on the waters.

Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said that Taiwanese military aircraft and ships have been lined up to follow the carrier lot, which sailed up the west side of the median line of the strait.

Reuters wrote, on Wednesday Taiwan's top policymaker for China affairs urged Beijing to resume dialogue with Taipei, reopening the official communication channels which had been halted by Beijing in June last year.

Chang Hsiao-yueh, minister for Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said, "I want to emphasize our government has sufficient capability to protect our national security. It's not necessary to overly panic."

"On the other hand, any threats would not benefit cross-Strait ties," she said in a news briefing related to the Liaoning's case.

Last month, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has made a congratulatory call to the U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, breaking years of diplomatic protocol. China was not pleased by Tsai’s call.

Then Trump provoked China by casting doubt on the ‘one China’ policy that Beijing maintained as the basis of U.S.-Chinese relationships.

Singapore struggles to retrieve its armoured infantry carriers from Hong Kong as it seemingly got entangled in the political dispute as Singapore continues its decades-long military exercises with Taiwan.

Tsai caused more anger from China when she met senior U.S. Republican lawmakers in Houston on Sunday en route to Central America; this was a controversial transit stop that Beijing had asked the US to refuse.

Tsai said she wants to maintain peace with China but Beijing suspects Tsai wants to push for the island's formal independence. China has never renounced its claim to use force to bring what it considers a renegade province under its control.

This entry was posted in International.