US Military Condemns Chinese Aggression Against US Ship in Taiwan Strait
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has once again shown aggression towards the United States, this time against a US ship. The US military has condemned the CCP’s actions, calling them “unsafe” following a potentially dangerous interaction in international waters in the Taiwan Strait on Saturday.
The USS Chung-Hoon, accompanied by Canada’s HMCS Montreal, was performing “a routine south to north Taiwan Strait transit” on June 3 “in accordance with international law,” U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) said in a statement late Saturday.
The CCP’s guided-missile destroyer, the Luyang III DDG 132 of the People’s Liberation Army-Navy, “overtook Chung-Hoon on their port side and crossed their bow at 150 yards,” the command said, forcing the U.S. guided-missile destroyer to slow to 10 knots to “avoid a collision.”
“[China’s] actions violated the maritime ‘Rules of the Road’ of safe passage in international waters,” the command said.
Part of the U.S. 7th Fleet, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon and Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montreal passed through the Strait in accordance with international laws concerning open seas, the U.S. military said.
“The ships transit through a corridor in the Strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal State,” the 7th fleet said in a statement. “Chung-Hoon and Montreal’s bilateral transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
“Cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region where aircraft and ships of all nations may fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”
The CCP’s military defended its actions saying that the transit was sending the “wrong signal” and that it “handled” the situation in accordance with the Chinese regime’s law and regulations.
“The countries concerned deliberately create incidents in the Taiwan Strait region, deliberately provoke risks, maliciously undermine regional peace and stability, and send the wrong signal to ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” its Eastern Theatre Command of China’s People’s Liberation Army said in a statement late Saturday.
Typically, the CCP has blamed “separatist forces” for Taiwan’s refusal to bow to the regime’s communist rule. Taiwan has been a self-governing liberal democracy since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.
However, ahead of Taiwan’s 2024 general election, the CCP is hoping to win influence in Taiwan’s domestic politics. DPP presidential candidate Vice President Lai Ching-te is the only Taiwanese presidential candidate who has explicitly stated that he stands against the tyrannical rule of the CCP. He says that he is “anti-CCP, not anti-China.”
Earlier in the day, Taiwan’s defense ministry said that in the 24 hours since 6 a.m. Saturday, it had detected 15 Chinese military aircraft and seven Chinese naval vessels around Taiwan—a near-daily occurrence since the CCP escalated its overt aggression against Taiwan in late 2020.
Two of the PLA aircraft again entered Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ). Taiwan’s Armed Forces responded by launching combat air patrol aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems, the ministry added.
15 PLA aircraft and 7 PLAN vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 a.m.(UTC+8) today. R.O.C. Armed Forces have monitored the situation and tasked CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond these activities. pic.twitter.com/ZlEJrDUKPB
— 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. 🇹🇼 (@MoNDefense) June 4, 2023
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