Taiwan scrambles jets, navy as China aircraft carrier enters Taiwan Strait

By:  @kavika, 2 months ago
Comments: 29 ..


Taiwan scrambles jets, navy as China aircraft carrier enters Taiwan Strait

4 hrs ago


FILE PHOTO: China's Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducts a drill in an area of South China Sea© REUTERS/Stringer/File photo FILE PHOTO: China's Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducts a drill in an area of South China Sea

TAIPEI, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Taiwan scrambled jets and navy ships on Wednesday as a group of Chinese warships, led by its sole aircraft carrier, sailed through the Taiwan Strait, the latest sign of heightened tension between Beijing and the self-ruled island.

China's Soviet-built Liaoning aircraft carrier, returning from exercises in the South China Sea, was not encroaching in Taiwan's territorial waters but entered its air defense identification zone in the southwest, Taiwan's defense ministry said.

As a result, Taiwan scrambled jets and navy ships to "surveil and control" the passage of the Chinese ships north through the body of water separating Taiwan and China, Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said.

Taiwan military aircraft and ships have been deployed to follow the carrier group, which is sailing up the west side of the median line of the strait, he said.

Taiwan's top policymaker for China affairs urged Beijing to resume dialog, after official communication channels were suspended by Beijing from June.

"I want to emphasize our government has sufficient capability to protect our national security. It's not necessary to overly panic," said Chang Hsiao-yueh, minister for Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, during a news briefing in response to reporters' questions on the Liaoning.

"On the other hand, any threats would not benefit cross-Strait ties," she said.

China has said the Liaoning was on an exercise to test weapons and equipment in the disputed South China Sea and its movements complied with international law.

On the weekend, a Chinese bomber flew around the Spratly Islands in a show of "strategic force," a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

The latest Chinese exercises have unnerved Beijing's neighbors, especially Taiwan which Beijing claims as its own, given long-running territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said China's ships "couldn't always remain in port" and the navy had to hone its capabilities.

"The Taiwan Strait is an international waterway shared between the mainland and Taiwan. So, it is normal for the Liaoning to go back and forth through the Taiwan Strait in the course of training, and it won't have any impact on cross-Strait relations," Liu said at a briefing on Asia-Pacific security.

China claims most of the energy-rich waters of the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. Neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.

China distrusts Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and has stepped up pressure on her after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump broke years of diplomatic protocol and took a congratulatory call last month from her.

Trump then riled China by casting doubt on the "one China" policy that Beijing regards as the basis of U.S.-Chinese relations.

Tsai drew anger from China again when she met senior U.S. Republican lawmakers in Houston on Sunday en route to Central America, in a transit stop that Beijing had asked the United States to not allow.

Beijing suspects Tsai wants to push for the island's formal independence, a red line for the mainland, which has never renounced the use of force to bring what it deems a renegade province under its control.

Tsai says she wants to maintain peace with China.


link 01/11/17 09:22:00AM @kavika:

With the Chinese ventures in the South China Sea, along with Russia making it's first port call and selling weapons to the Philippines and with the Philippines establishing ties with China are we seeing a huge shift in the Pacific?

link 01/11/17 10:09:21AM @kavika:

In numerous article I keep seeing that China has only one aircraft carrier. What they fail to mention is that China is in the process of building a second carrier and plans on building two more after that...A total of 4 carriers.

This would make them a very powerful navy.


link 01/11/17 11:16:58AM @dowser:

Poor Taiwan!  I would imagine that they are leery of anything the Chinese do...  Much less, this!

link 01/11/17 11:58:00AM @kavika:

As noted above Dowser, China is flexing is military muscle.

link 01/11/17 12:22:53PM @dowser:

Just what all of us want to hear...  Unless they direct their show of strength toward N. Korea!  

Things could get really scary!

link 01/12/17 01:29:56AM @xxjefferson51:

Taiwan will need a nuclear deterrent in order to assure its survival as an independent capitalist democracy.   

link 01/12/17 07:59:55AM @kavika:

I'm sure that China would just standby and allow Taiwan to have nuclear weapons. Want to start a war XX, just follow you own advice.


link 01/12/17 07:34:23AM @pj:

This is an example why President-elect Trump should not take calls from certain people. I think this is China letting Taiwan no who the boss still is.   Trumps lack of knowledge about international politics not only puts the U.S. at risk but others as well, as this shows.

link 01/12/17 08:03:21AM @kavika:

Like it or not, China is a major power in the world, Pj. They, like all countries will do what is best for them. The Taiwan card is not, IMO, something to challenge them on. They have never said that they wouldn't use force to take Taiwan back.

Tread carefully is the best advice.

link 01/12/17 12:00:55PM @pj:

Yes, Kavika, I agree.  My point is that what the US does impacts more than just the US' relationships globally but also relationships between other countries.  

link 01/12/17 08:34:38AM @1ofmany:

This is about a lot more than a phone call. We currently arm Taiwan and imply that we would defend them if attacked by China. China considers Taiwan to be a rebellious province and is making territorial claims in the South China Sea. China's problem has been its relative inability to project power and it's moving to fix that. It's expanding its fleet and turning an island in the siurth China Sea into a giant aircraft carrier and naval base.

A significant amount of international shipping passes through that waterway and we're sailing our own military vessels through it to keep it open to international traffic. Appeasing China by not making phone calls to Taiwan is almost a joke in light of Chinese expansion that threatens to turn the South China Sea into a Chinese lake. That has implications for Taiwan and every other country in the area. A Chinese aircraft carrier sailing through the Straits of Taiwan is intended to send us a bigger message that the waterways off mainland China will eventually be theirs to control. In my opinion, we're headed for a showdown if china keeps this up. I prefer to keep non military options in play, like pressuring China to respect the UN martitime rulings, but that's going to be increasingly harder to do if republicans keep trashing the entire UN by threatening to defund it. 

Trump better come up with a game plan that is more than deciding whether or not to call Taiwan on the phone.

link 01/12/17 08:52:12AM @kavika:

IMO, the area is in a very tense time. Russia made it's first port calls in the Philippines a few weeks ago and is now selling them arms. The Philippines is making nice with China over the island being built in the South China Sea.

Indeed, the game plan for the U.S. is going to have to take a lot of things into consideration.


Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/12/17 11:03:12AM @perrie-halpern:

I think that there are more than one thing in play here.

First of all China has always claimed sovereignty over Taiwan. Her status has always been up in the air after WWII. The US claims she is sovereign, China says no. 

Then there is Russia. China hates Russia and Russian aggression as of late, makes China not only nervous, but also equally aggressive. Being that they are both nuclear powers, and China saw that nothing happened to Russia for taking Crimea, China feels that they must take what they feel is rightfully theirs, and also show the world that they will not play second fiddle to Russia.

They are also testing the US. 

This is quite a sticky wicket. We might have to send in our own carrier or two to show we mean business... but arming Taiwan, would be insanity. 

link 01/12/17 11:13:50AM @cerenkov:

We've already armed them.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/12/17 11:24:56AM @perrie-halpern:

I mean with nukes. 

link 01/12/17 02:21:47PM @cerenkov:

I agree that giving nukes to Taiwan would be insane.

link 01/12/17 11:11:22AM @kavika:

Enter Russia in the Pacific..For the first time in history Russian ships called the Philippines and are now selling weapons to them as well.

Expect both China and Russia to get more aggressive.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 01/12/17 11:25:51AM @perrie-halpern:

More aggressive with each other or with the locals?

link 01/12/17 12:37:02PM @kavika:

China and the Philippines have reached some sort of accord over the islands that the Chinese are building. Russian is making friends with the Philippines and selling them arms...

Soon enough all of these acts will converge, what the outcome will be is any ones guess.


link 01/12/17 11:39:46AM @aeonpax:


Why should anyone in the U.S. care?  I mean if Chinese expansionism is a top logistical priority, why did the US not only allow but gave it's blessings to manufacturing companies who relocated there?  American dollars virtually made China the economic and militaristic juggernaut they have become.

link 01/12/17 11:55:01AM @pepe:

The Neocon has aspirations to rule the world. They are obsessed with economic dominance and war.

link 01/12/17 12:54:08PM @aeonpax:


I agree with you. I am against the current globalist philosophy because it has been using warfare to advance their goals.  We've had three successive presidents whom have one way or another, pushed the military option as a seemingly benign gesture when in fact, it is just the opposite.

link 01/12/17 12:47:17PM @kavika:

It's not only the U.S. Aeon, the investments by other Asian countries and Europe countries in China is huge, as is the trade between them.

link 01/12/17 12:59:35PM @aeonpax:

I agree but without the initial involvement of the US, prostituting the advantages of cheap labor combined with free access to the US market, Europe and the Western powers would not have ventured there.


link 01/12/17 01:02:45PM @kavika:

Correct, we were the initial ''investor'' in China. What the other countries did was follow suit, making China a powerhouse  with enormous clout worldwide.

link 01/12/17 12:02:00PM @johnrussell:

The U.S. has a Monroe Doctrine which prevents any other nation from outside the hemisphere having a sphere of influence in the designated area.  We can enforce such a policy because we have the military capability. 

If China, or any country, has the military capability to control the land or water in their proximity then they will do so. 

Taiwan is a special case because it is disputed. I don't think the US should make military threats over Taiwan. 

If there was a working UN , this is what they should be doing. Used as a forum for resolving such disputes. But there is no working UN. 

link 01/12/17 12:45:37PM @kavika:

The link gives some interesting information on the growing influence of China in South America and Central America.


Another link showing the power the Chinese have over the Panama Canal.


link 01/12/17 01:41:45PM @1ofmany:

There is a bigger picture to all of this. Obama and the EU imposed sanctions on Russia in response to Russia annexing Crimea. Those sanctions pushed Russia to sign a strategic partnership with China where they're reinforcing each other in expansionism. Under that arrangement, Russia plans to build a gas supply line to China (which would give it the ability to cut gas to Europe. Russia is also selling its oil to China in deals worth up to $500 billion, displacing Saudi Arabia. Banks in the two countries have agreed to a currency swap and Russia has become a major recipient of Chinese investment. Russia has increased exports to China and both seem intent on expanding Russia's Eurasian version of the EU. Both Russia and China are also part of the BRICS group that is growing in economic influence. (BRICS = Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). 

On the military side, both countries are threatening to make trouble if South Korea deploys a high altitude defense system. They're holding joint naval drills in the South China Sea and Russia backs Chinese claims to the area. Controlling the South China Sea would give China the ability to project power 500 miles beyond it's borders and give them the ability to blockade a significant amount of global trade.

China supports (at least tacitly) Russia's claim to Crimea and Russian intervention in Syria. Russia has a naval base in Syria and can now project power into both the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Iran and Syria are already Russian partners. In my opinion, Iraq will ultimately follow Iran as a fellow Shia state rather then follow the Sunni dominated governments like Saudi Arabia. Other Middle Eastern governments may tip to the Russians in order to avoid economic entanglement with Israel. So basically, Russia and China are positioning themselves to be completely independent of any pressure (military or economic) that we can put on them in the future and they can attract others who are tired of our foreign policy. Everything we do, or don't do, will have tremendous consequences in the future. 

link 01/12/17 02:28:18PM @kavika:

In addition China and Russia have been cutting the legs out of the US Dollar as a world currency.

This in itself can and will have drastic affects on the US if it continues to happen.


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