U.S. Secretary of the Navy Carlos del Toro has made it clear to Chinese Communist aggressors who plan to violate the sovereignty of other countries in the region that they will face “punitive countermeasures,” similar to those that Russia is currently facing.
US ‘veiled warning’ against China
In a interview this week, Del Toro said U.S. troops stationed in the Asia-Pacific region will remain on high alert, particularly in the disputed South China Sea, and will search for any aggression.
The USS Ronald Reagan and its carrier strike group arrived in the South China Sea just days ago to conduct operations.
Carlos del Toro said in an interview Tuesday night in Manila that the US military assigned to the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in the disputed South China Sea, will never let up and has stepped up despite the war in Ukraine.
During his visit to Manila, the US official also renewed assurances on behalf of President Biden that he would honor his obligations under a 1951 Mutual Defense Agreement in the event that Philippine forces, ships and aircraft were attacked in the disputed waters or territory.
Del Toro did not mention China specifically, but the Philippines and Beijing have experienced alarming territorial tensions over the past decade. Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei are also embroiled in disputes with China over strategic waters, shoals, reefs and islands in the South China Sea over which Beijing is trying to exert full control.
“As President Biden has said, if any country violates an inch of Filipino sovereignty, whether at sea, on land or on an offshore island, we will be there to support the Filipino nation and the Filipino people of all ages. possible ways,” Del Toro said. said.
Meanwhile, Chinese officials reiterated their warning to the United States to “stay away” from what is a purely Asian dispute. To prove the seriousness of the threat, China repeatedly clashes with American ships and planes engaged in innocent passage through international waters over which China claims control.
If the worst-case scenario occurs, Del Toro said “allies and partners will come together to do the same” of the military aid Ukraine has been receiving from the West since the Russian invasion in February.
China’s alarming aggressive behavior
In another report, a Pentagon official pointed to the “more and more aggressivebehavior of the Communist Party-led state, sending several “dangerous” warplanes over disputed territory, not to mention dozens of “dangerous” incidents this year alone.
“We see Beijing combining its growing military might with a greater willingness to take risks,” Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner told a Center for Strategic Studies and international. conference.
Ratner pointed to recent accusations by Canada and Australia that a Chinese J-16 fighter carried out a ‘dangerous’ interception near the two countries’ planes during a ‘routine maritime surveillance activity’ in space. international airline.
Apparently, the official nickname of the Chinese J-16 Multirole fighter has been announced:
潜龙 (Qian Long) or Diving Dragon (the literal translation means “the dragon that hides in the deep waters”) pic.twitter.com/ym21HIV7un
– Fighterman_FFRC (@Fighterman_FFRC) July 1, 2022
Last month, the Australian Department of Defense said “the interception resulted in a dangerous maneuver which posed a threat to the safety of the P-8 aircraft and its crew”. He also added that the Chinese aircraft issued a “bundle of strawcontaining small pieces of aluminum that were ingested into the engine of the RAAF aircraft.
The Pentagon official said she stressed the incident was not isolated, adding that China had exhibited “aggressive and irresponsible behavior” and threatened peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. .
General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed the same “alarming” concern during his visit to Indonesia.
In addition to the territorial dispute in the Philippine archipelago, the United States has created tensions with China in recent weeks over democratic concerns surrounding Taiwan, which Beijing has long claimed is part of its communist state.
More recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping threatened the United States over Taiwan, saying tensions would escalate if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a planned visit to Taiwan.
“US military experts say a war against Taiwan is desirable because Asia’s growth to become the economic heart of the world has become unstoppable.”
— Peter Cronau (@PeterCronau) July 26, 2022
Below is an excerpt from the Chinese Embassy statement:
President Xi stressed that the historical ins and outs of the Taiwan issue are crystal clear, as is the fact and status quo that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one China. The three China-US joint communiques embody the political commitments made by both sides, and the one-China principle is the political foundation of China-US relations. China firmly opposes separatist moves towards “Taiwan independence” and interference by outside forces, and never gives space to “Taiwan independence” forces in any form. The position of the Chinese government and people on the Taiwan issue is consistent, and resolutely safeguarding China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity is the firm will of more than 1.4 billion Chinese people. Public opinion cannot be challenged. Those who play with fire will perish by it. We hope that the United States will be lucid on this subject. The American Shoulf abides by the one-China principle and implements the three joint communiques in words and deeds.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, there was rampant speculation that China would use the instability in Europe to invade Taiwan. Here at SOFREP, we are of the opinion that the Chinese army and navy are far from having the capacity to succeed in such an invasion. China recently launched its first major aircraft carrier, the Fujian, which weighs 80,000 tons and has conventional rather than nuclear propulsion. This means that China will have to build tankers to refuel the ship at sea, and it will have to build a strike group of other ships around it to protect it from submarine and cruise missile attacks. Fujian is more a statement of national prestige than a combat ship and China will be loath to risk her being sunk and humiliated by such a loss. In any invasion of Taiwan, it should be used and it will take at least 3-4 years to complete.