Tue, Jul 10, 2018 - Page 1 News List

US naval transit a warning to China, experts say

BALANCING ACT:A slew of military drills and actions from the US indicates its commitment to counter and exert pressure on China, a Taiwanese think tank said

By Lu Yi-hsuan and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Yasuhiro Matsuda, professor of international politics at the University of Tokyo’s Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, said that the US is within its rights under international law to sail warships near Taiwan, adding that the political message is clear.

“This is only a beginning,” Matsuda said. “The US is sending China a warning about its military expansion: Enough is enough, or the US has many other tricks left in its bag that it can be doing.”

That Taiwan announced the whereabouts of US ships showed that the two countries have a close working relationship and it sends a positive message to other US allies in the region, Matsuda added.

Meanwhile, a national security official yesterday said on condition of anonymity that the Taiwanese government received advanced information of the destroyers’ bearing, was constantly apprised of their whereabouts and did not issue the statement until well after the ships had left.

The USS Ronald Reagan’s drills to the east of Taiwan is a response to Chinese warships’ penetration of the first island chain and a reaffirmation of US commitment to Taiwan’s defense, the official said.

Additional reporting by Su Yung-yao

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