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US warship transit through Taiwan Straits to instigate secessionists, attempt to obstruct China’s reunification futile: experts

Pub Date:2020-10-16 08:51 Source:Global Times

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) had a US warship under surveillance when it made a provocative transit in the Taiwan Straits on Wednesday, as the PLA was conducting live-fire exercises near the region. The US' high profile move was meant to lend support to Taiwan secessionist forces, but its attempt to interfere in China's internal affairs and obstruct China's reunification will be futile, Chinese mainland experts said on Thursday.

The PLA Eastern Theater Command organized naval and air forces, and tracked and monitored the USS Barry destroyer when the US warship sailed through the Taiwan Straits on Wednesday, the command announced on Thursday.

The US has been frequently sending the wrong signals to Taiwan secessionist forces, seriously damaging peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits, Senior Colonel Zhang Chunhui, spokesperson of the PLA Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement.

"We sternly urge the US to stop making provocative statements and moves. The command forces are always on high alert and will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits," the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for the US Seventh Fleet said in a statement that the USS Barry's Taiwan Straits transit was "routine," and "demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific," AFP reported on Thursday.

The US is aiming to stir up tensions in the Taiwan Straits, and to lend support to Taiwan secessionist forces, as the warship transit would worsen the current situation in the region, Zhang Junshe, a senior research fellow at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, told the Global Times on Thursday.

However, the US will not reach its goal of interfering in China's internal affairs and obstructing China's reunification, as the Chinese people and military have the capability and determination to turn reunification into reality, the expert said.

The US warship's Taiwan Straits transit came after foreign media reported on Tuesday and Wednesday that the US is moving forward with the latest batch of arms sales to the island of Taiwan, which experts said features attack weapons.

The Trump administration could be making provocative military moves to win more support in the re-election campaign, analysts said.

According to tracking data released by the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI), a Beijing-based think tank, the US also sent an EP-3E spy plane to the south of the Taiwan Straits from the night of Tuesday to the morning of Wednesday. And the US warship and warplane activities coincided with PLA live-fire drills from Tuesday to Saturday off the coast of Gulei Peninsula, Zhangzhou, East China's Fujian Province near Kinmen in Taiwan.

The EP-3E is equipped with advanced electronic intelligence interception systems that can monitor and track radar and communications signals over a wide area, and gather and analyze information, including radio frequencies used in missile guidance, leading Chinese mainland military observers to say its close-up reconnaissance in the Taiwan Straits was aimed at gathering PLA drill intelligence, and pave a path for the USS Barry destroyer.

The US destroyer's Taiwan Straits transit was not likely a close-up reconnaissance in technical terms, but an attempt to boost the morale of Taiwan secessionists, Zhang Junshe said.


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