U.S. Navy Conducts Its Ninth Transit of Taiwan Strait since January
Sept. 18, 2021 (EIRNS)—Yesterday, local Taiwan time, the guided missile destroyer USS Barry passed through the Taiwan Strait, the ninth such transit by the U.S. Navy since President Joe Biden took office. “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The United States military flies, sails, and operates anywhere international law allows,” the U.S. Seventh Fleet pompously said in a press release.
China’s PLA Eastern Theater Command announced that it sent forces to track the U.S. ship. “Such frequent provocations by the U.S. fully demonstrate that the U.S. is a destroyer of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and a security risk creator across the Taiwan Strait,” said Eastern Theater Command spokesman Army Senior Colonel Shi Yi. Shi stressed that troops of the PLA Eastern Theater Command maintain a state of high vigilance at all times, and will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and security, as well as regional peace and stability.
Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post also reports that the theater command on Sept. 17 deployed naval and air forces, including combat ships, early warning aircraft, and bombers, to carry out joint patrols and actual combat operations (sic!) in the waters and seas to the southwest of Taiwan, the spokesman said in a separate statement. “The relevant actions [were] aimed at improving the integrated and joint combat capabilities of theater forces, and will be organized in a regular manner in accordance with the situation in the Taiwan Strait and the need to maintain national sovereignty and security,” the statement said.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said the mainland military deployment included six J-16 and two J-11 fighters, as well as one anti-submarine and one reconnaissance aircraft.