China tightens naval presence around Taiwan to deter US intervention, 4 warships enforce 'round-the-clock' surveillance

China-Taiwan Issue: The four warships are strategically positioned at various locations, including around Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture, between Yonaguni Island and the Philippines, and in the waters southwest and north of Taiwan.

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Courtesy: Representative Image

China-Taiwan Issue: In a strategic move aimed at thwarting potential US intervention, China has deployed four warships, including frigates, positioned around Taiwan continuously, as reported by Taiwanese News citing Japanese media.

Backdrop: US-Taiwan Relations Tensions

The move reportedly stems from China's strong objection to the visit of former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in August 2022. In response, China initiated extensive military exercises, and since then, four People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) warships have been stationed in waters around Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

Strategic Naval Positions

The four warships are strategically positioned at various locations, including around Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture, between Yonaguni Island and the Philippines, and in the waters southwest and north of Taiwan. Additionally, one warship is consistently deployed northwest of the Diaoyutai Islands (Senkaku Islands).

Senkaku Islands' Significance

The Diaoyutai Islands are surrounded by Chinese naval vessels on three sides, reflecting China's claim that they are "part of Taiwan." Analysts suggest that if China decides to act against Taiwan, a "Senkaku Incident" could unfold concurrently.

China's Anti-Access/Area Denial Strategy

China's move aligns with its anti-access/area denial (A2AD) strategy, reinforcing capabilities to restrict military activities of neighboring countries. The primary objective is to prevent the US military from entering the first island chain, connecting the Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

Japan's Preparedness Urgency

Former Self-Defense Fleet commander Koda Yoji underscores a potential vulnerability in Japan's defenses, emphasizing the need for comprehensive preparedness. He warns of a plausible scenario where China could use force to target the Senkaku Islands, requiring Japan to be vigilant.

Escalation in Activity Near Taiwan

Recent photographic evidence captured by a Yomiuri Shimbun journalist displays a PLAN Jiangkai II-class guided-missile frigate facing off with the Maritime Self-Defense Force's frigate JS Mikuma. This encounter occurred within an overlapping area of China's ADIZ and Japan's northeast of Taiwan, signifying increased Chinese military activity to obstruct the Japanese and US military aircraft.

Strategic Intentions Unveiled

Sources within the Self-Defense Force suggest that heightened Chinese military activities aim to impede the entry of the SDF and US military aircraft into airspace contingencies in the Taiwan Strait.

As China maintains a vigilant naval presence, the geopolitical dynamics in the region witness strategic positioning, underscoring the ongoing complexities in East Asian maritime security.