China has once again put its military on “high alert” after two US Navy warships recently crossed the Taiwan Strait.
At the end of last week, the US destroyer John McCain sailed near the disputed Paracel Islands administered and militarized by China, on which the PLA military warned the United States to “end its provocations” .
The latest incident happened on Wednesday, when the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Barry, crossed the strait. Washington was quick to point out that it was a “routine transit” like others for peaceful “freedom of navigation” operations, while Beijing once again denounced the “Statements and movements that disturb”.
State supported Global Times says the transit of the USS Barry resulted in Chinese Eastern Theater Command assets mobilized. He “organized the naval and air forces and followed and watched the destroyer USS Barry the entire way as the US warship crossed the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday,” according to GT.
PLA Senior Colonel Zhang Chunhui said, “We strongly urge the United States to stop making disturbing statements and actions. The command forces are always on alert to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
These latest tensions based on the American presence in the contested sea lanes have forced the PLA army to be put on alert. While this is nothing new, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s language has become more threatening when referring to speeches about the war.
During a visit to a military base in Chaozhou city, southern Guangdong province, Xi reportedly told elite troops to “Maintain a high alert state” and “Put all (their) minds and energy into preparing for war”.
It also comes at a time of new reports that the Trump administration has authorized three types of major arms sales to Taiwan, which China has condemned as a violation of the long-standing “ One China ” status quo. More advanced weapons are also under consideration, so threats coming from Beijing are only expected to get fiercer.
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