Against the backdrop of its already strained relations with Washington, China says it is ready to respond to any threats after the United States sent two warships into the Taiwan Strait.
Beijing expressed on Thursday December 31 its strong opposition to the navigation of U.S. destroyers in the Taiwan Strait, urging the U.S. to play a constructive role in ensuring regional peace and stability, rather than the other way around, Xinhua reported.
Stationed in Japan, two U.S. destroyers, the USS John S. McCain and the USS Curtis Wilbur crossed the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet said in a statement, claiming the exercise was in accordance with international law.
In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a daily press briefing: “China has been closely monitoring the movement of U.S. warships through the Taiwan Strait.
“Recently, U.S. warships have repeatedly made forceful demonstrations in the Taiwan Strait, sending wrong messages to Taiwanese pro-independence forces and seriously undermining peace and stability across the Strait,” he said.
“China remains on alert to confront all threats and provocations and resolutely preserve its national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Wang Wenbin said.
The U.S. Navy’s provocative actions come at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and China. Washington criticized Beijing over the coronavirus pandemic and accused it of using the pandemic to assert territorial claims in the South China Sea and elsewhere.
China, in turn, has opposed the holding of such U.S. military exercises in the South China Sea on the grounds that this approach increases tensions and undermines stability in the region.
In late December, the Chinese navy expelled a U.S. destroyer that had illegally entered the South China Sea, as the Chinese army command deployed ships and planes to warn the U.S. destroyer USS John S. McCain while it was sailing in disputed waters near the Spratleys Islands.
The Chinese army simulated interdiction and suppression operations against U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific region, including the surface ships that Washington is increasingly sending to venture into the South China Sea. The DF-26 is a Chinese ballistic missile specially designed to neutralize U.S. naval aircraft groups.
At this time, the influence of the United States and its allies is increasingly threatened by the potential for Russian-Chinese military cooperation, warned American Enterprise Institute, a Washington DC-based think tank in reference to the trilateral naval exercises the two countries have organized with Iran and South Africa.
The two countries have also gradually increased their presence in the Indian Ocean. Russia recently announced that it would establish a naval facility in Port Sudan on the Red Sea. China opened its first overseas base in Djibouti in 2017 and the Chinese navy has intensified its operations in the Indian Ocean over the past three decades.
US Army: super sino-russian pliers
As the next president of the United States seeks to build stronger alliances against China, Beijing and Moscow state that their relationship is strong and plan to strengthen their alliance.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping reaffirm that their countries are closer than ever and are ready to intensify their cooperation on the international stage.
On Monday, Biden called for stronger coalitions with “like-minded partners and allies” against China on the trade and economic fronts. Both sides have continued to help each other overcome difficulties and continue to support each other strongly on issues involving the fundamental interests of the other, reflecting the high level of mutual trust and friendship between the two,” Xi said.
On Tuesday, Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov said relations between the two countries were strong enough to withstand any influence of “external factors”, including a new U.S. administration. This rapprochement is increasingly reflected in cross military movements. China installs missiles and radars near Indian bordersChina’s air force has massively deployed missiles and radars in support of its army along India’s eastern border with Ladakh, Indian Air Force Chief Rakesh Kumar Bhadauria said Tuesday.
“China has massively deployed along the Line of Effective Control (LOC) to support its army. They have a significant presence of radars, ground-to-air missiles and ground-to-ground missiles. Their deployment has been strong,” he added. He continued: “The Chinese Air Force has deployed its indigenous fighter aircraft, including the J-20 and J-10, as well as the Russian-made SU-30 near Indian territory in Tibet. China has also activated their air defense systems, including the S-400 acquired from Russia.
Russia, for its part, has deployed a coastal missile brigade on SakhalinA new coastal defense brigade has been formed in the Far East. The compound will cover Sakhalin. Given the missile and artillery troops already available in the region, Russia’s Pacific coast was completely protected from the landing of troops and the approach of ships equipped with cruise missiles. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigou announced the creation of a new unit at the annual meeting of the board of directors. However, the direction in which the coastal missile brigade will operate was not indicated. According to the Russian newspaper, Izvestia, it will be based on Sakhalin. Now, the island is recruiting soldiers for the contract service, as well as civilian personnel. Coastal missile systems (DBK) hit the ships without fail, explained the former chief of the Navy’s senior staff, Admiral Valentin Selivanov.
“When I was Chief of Staff of the Black Sea Fleet, our DBK almost fired on the Bosporus, the enemy could cross the strait and be immediately under fire,” military historian Dmitry Boltenkov said in Izvestia. He added: “It is a good thing for defense. The brigade will be mobile, on wheeled vehicles, so it will be invulnerable – it will be able to maneuver, camouflage itself and change its firing position. And all enemy targets approaching the Kuril and Sakhalin will be hit with great accuracy. Aircraft and other means of reconnaissance, including space-based, will provide the brigade with the designation of targets.
And the general added: “At the same time, the range of the ammunition is even greater than that of the land-based Iskander. Syria’s experience has shown that “bastions” work well for fixed and “limited mobile” ground targets – checkpoints, radar stations, airfields, heliports and artillery batteries. Faced with a bustling NATO, is the Sino-Russian axis about to reorganize militarily?
by Basit Abbasi – TN