Beijing/Washington: In the last 24 hours, tensions have escalated in the East and the South China Sea. Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning has sailed through the Miyako Strait in Japan and has begun drills near the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese warship drills are believed a warning for Japan and Taiwan. Simultaneously, the US aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has arrived in the South China Sea with its carrier strike group. The media have expressed fears over the possibility of US and Chinese aircraft carriers coming face to face after nearly a year.
According to the Japanese Ministry of Defense, China’s Liaoning carrier strike group, consisting of five destroyers, made aggressive naval movements. The warships sailed through the Miyako Strait, near the territorial waters of the Japanese island of Okinawa. “China’s warships have not violated Japan’s territorial waters. However, Japan has sent its destroyers and patrol boats to monitor the warships’ movements,” the Japanese Defense Ministry said.
A Chinese warship had sailed through the Pacific Ocean off the Japanese island of Okinawa last April. At the time, Chinese warships were also criticized for making dangerous moves towards Japanese destroyers. However, after crossing the Miyako Strait this time, China’s destroyers took a U-turn and hit the Taiwan Strait late on Monday. After that, the Chinese warships have begun naval exercises near the Taiwan Strait.
Media of both Japan and Taiwan have claimed that the Chinese aircraft carrier strike group’s movements in the last 24 hours are a warning to the two nations. In the last few weeks, Japan has enhanced cooperation with India, Australia and Indonesia in the Indo-Pacific region. Japan and the United States have held a ‘two-plus-two’ dialogue, with the Japanese prime minister set to visit the United States next week. Earlier, China had threatened Japan, according to the Japanese media.
In the last few weeks, Taiwan has stepped up its political activities internationally. Last week, Taiwan representative to the US met with former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Local media are thereby criticizing China for warning Taiwan through the exercise in the wake of the events. As China’s movements in the East China Sea are on the rise, the massive aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and its strike group have arrived in the South China Sea.
More than two hundred Chinese military militia ships have infiltrated the Philippine waters. The Philippines has taken an aggressive stance against the act. Moreover, the massive US aircraft carrier’s arrival into the region appears like a challenge for China.