The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been holding consecutive, concentrated military drills in all four major Chinese sea regions since mid-August, which is seen as a direct and strong response to the recent negative moves by Taiwan secessionists and the US, according to China’s state-run Global Times, but the US military has not restrained its provocations and even bolstered its military operations around the island of Taiwan.
The Democratic Party platform adopted at last week’s nominating convention dropped any reference to the U.S. policy of recognizing a single China in reference to unofficial American ally Taiwan, according to Washington Times.
The new platform issued for presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden on Thursday states that Democrats are committed to the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which calls upon the U.S. to defend Taiwan from mainland attack.
China’s Foreign Ministry criticized the platform change.
PLA conducts military drills in the Yellow Sea and South China Sea
China’s latest round of naval exercises in the South China Sea is meant to show the world that Beijing is prepared to fight on multiple fronts.
The current drills are held simultaneously in four locations, including the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea, and waters near the cities of Qingdao and Lianyungang.
Hainan Maritime Safety Administration announced that the waters southeast of Hainan island would be sealed off for an exercise running from Monday until Saturday.
Vietnamese media have reported that China has recently deployed fighter jets and at least one bomber to the disputed Paracel Islands.
The US confronts with aircraft carriers and spy plane
The United States has also been conducting a series of exercises in the region and on Friday the USS Ronald Reagan and its carrier strike group returned to the South China Sea for a series of air defence exercises after a joint drill with Japan.
The US Navy also sent a destroyer, the USS Mustin, through the Taiwan Strait following the exercise with Japan in what America said was a demonstration of its commitment to a “free and open Indo-Pacific”.
US warships have been training near the Chinese mainland and Taiwan island. Since the deployment of the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in the West Pacific in June, it continuously held exercises in the Philippine Sea, South China Sea and East China Sea, occasionally with the USS Nimitz carrier, and sometimes with Japanese and Australian warships in joint drills, SCSPI said.
On August 17, two US Air Force B-1B bombers took off from Guam and returned to South Dakota. But one of them, instead of flying the shortest return route, flew near the island of Taiwan and into the East China Sea first before leaving, China media reported at that time.
The US also deployed B-2 bombers to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, which conducted joint tactical training on August 18, US military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported on Wednesday.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Wednesday during his visit to Hawaii, “To advance the CCP’s agenda, the People’s Liberation Army continues to pursue an aggressive modernisation plan to achieve a world class military by the middle of the century.”
“This will undoubtedly involve the PLA’s provocative behaviour in the South and East China Seas, and anywhere else the Chinese government has deemed critical to its interests,” he said.
China accuses US spy plane of entering no-fly zone
China launched two missiles, including an “aircraft-carrier killer”, into the South China Sea on Wednesday morning, a source close to the Chinese military said, sending a clear warning to the United States.
One of the missiles, a DF-26B, was launched from the northwestern province of Qinghai, while the other, a DF-21D, lifted off from Zhejiang province in the east.
Both were fired into an area between Hainan province and the Paracel Islands, the source said.
According to Global Times, the Chinese military strongly protested a US spy plane trespassing into a no-fly zone of a live-fire drill by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), a spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense said on Tuesday, warning that the move threatened to cause a misjudgment and even an accident, and was a blatant act of provocation.
The US military aircraft faced the risk of being mistakenly shot down when it entered a previously announced military drill restriction zone, and the PLA exercised great restraint not to do so, Chinese experts said.
The U-2 high altitude reconnaissance aircraft trespassed into a no-fly zone that is currently hosting a live-fire drill by the PLA Northern Theater Command on Tuesday, which seriously interrupted the Chinese troops’ normal exercises, said Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian in a statement.
“This was a blatant act of provocation, but the US spy attempt would also be fruitless, ” the PLA said. “The US should not regret it when its warships sink, warplanes crash and soldiers are buried in an alien land”.
Edited by staff