US warship’s Taiwan Straits transit ‘powerless’ under PLA watch after island encirclement drills

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) kept a US warship under watch as it made a transit through the Taiwan Straits on Sunday, with experts saying on Monday that such US provocations are no longer significant after the PLA again displayed its capabilities in the latest island encirclement patrols and joint drills.

US guided missile destroyer the USS Milius on Sunday sailed through the Taiwan Straits and publicly hyped its transit. PLA Eastern Theater Command organized forces to track and monitor the vessel on high alert throughout its entire course, Senior Colonel Shi Yi, a spokesperson of the PLA Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement on Monday.

The command troops remain on high vigilance at all times to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security as well as regional peace and stability, Shi said.

The US sends warships through the Taiwan Straits regularly and provocatively in a way to play the Taiwan card, sending the wrong signal to “Taiwan independence” forces and attempting to contain China, observers said.

However, this trick is losing its meaning with the growing strength of the PLA, which just recently conducted combat alert patrols and “Joint Sword” exercises that encircled the island from April 8 to 10, then made the island encirclement a normalcy with routine patrols and drills, a Chinese mainland military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Monday.

A sole destroyer, or even an entire aircraft carrier strike group, is vulnerable in the narrow Taiwan Straits in facing of land-based anti-ship missiles, the expert said.

The latest US warship transit is just a political stunt and a powerless response to the PLA’s drills, the expert said.

(Global Times)

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