China Begins Permanent Warship Deployment, Direct Challenge to US: Report

China Begins Permanent Warship Deployment, Direct Challenge to US: Report

China has deployed four or five warships near Taiwan, an island that China considers to be part of its own territory.

Newsweek reported the deployments Friday, but did so somewhat confusingly, citing the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun as reporting the presence of four warships but then listing the location of five.

“According to the report, China’s four warships are in critical locations around Taiwan and its neighboring territories,” Newsweek said. “One warship is stationed near Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture, the westernmost tip of Japan, while another is positioned between Yonaguni Island and the Philippines, Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

“Additionally, one warship is located in the waters southwest of Taiwan and another in the north of the island. Furthermore, one ship is permanently deployed to the northwest of the Senkaku Islands, which are the subject of territorial disputes between Japan and China.”

Newsweek did not explain the discrepancy, and did not link to the article it cited. An email to Newsweek seeking clarification did not receive an immediate response.

The deployments have raised tensions for both Taiwan and Japan, both important U.S. allies in the region.

“If Japan is left with an opening, there is a strong possibility that China will use force to intervene in the Senkaku Islands in the future,” said Yoji Koda, a former commander of Japan’s Self-Defense Fleet, according to Newsweek.

China considers the Senkaku Islands part of Taiwan, and therefore Chinese territory, the outlet explained.

“Japan must be fully prepared,” Koda added.

Some military analysts have pointed out that the Senkaku Islands are particularly threatened, with Chinese warships now on three sides of the Islands, Newsweek noted.

United States National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi were in Bangkok, Thailand, for talks aimed at de-escalating tensions in the region.

It was unclear whether the meeting between the two senior officials had already occurred or, if not, when it would be held.

Meanwhile, China’s military has taken aggressive acts against Taiwan, which would seem to indicate little interest on the part of the Chinese in calming things down.

“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army sent 33 aircraft, including SU-30 fighters, and six navy vessels around Taiwan, between 6 a.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday,” The Associated Press reported over the weekend.

“Of these, 13 warplanes crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait — an unofficial boundary that’s considered a buffer between the island and mainland,” the outlet said.

Adm. John C. Aquilino told an audience at the Pacific Forum on Friday that he anticipated China moving against Taiwan soon.

“The coercive pressure campaign against Taiwan continues, and we’re watching it in the wake of the elections,” the naval officer said. “I’m not sure what they’re going to do, but I expect some demonstration of force against Taiwan in the near term.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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