US signal to China: Stay away from Taiwan during the Ukraine crisis | world news

Since the start of the US-Russian escalation over Ukraine, many thought it would give President Xi Jinping a free pass to aggressively pursue what China calls its core interests.

With two nuclear-powered aircraft carrier strike groups patrolling the Philippine Sea and another deployed in Yokosuka, Japan, the United States has sent a strong message to China to stay away from Taiwan while the former is locked with Russia over Ukraine.

The PLA responded to massive US naval drills on Sunday by sending up to 39 fighter jets, mostly fighters like the J-10 and J-16, to the southwestern air defense identification area of Taiwan (ADIZ) as tensions escalated in the breakaway island nation. . The Taiwan Air Force resumed combat air patrols and activated surface-to-air missile systems to deter the aggressive PLA Air Force. It is the first time since October 2021 that the PLA has responded to American exercises with so many fighters.

This large-scale transgression of Taiwan’s airspace by Chinese fighters took place when the US Navy has three carrier strike groups to support Taipei and the Philippines’ freedom of navigation at sea operations. While the USS Carl Vinson and the Abraham Lincoln patrol near Taiwan, the USS Ronald Reagan is on standby near Yokosuka in Japan. The United States also has a large-scale Navy presence with the presence of the USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group and the USS America Expeditionary Strike Group joining the aircraft carriers. Patrol with the massive carrier force is a Japanese Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer with USS strike groups deploying up to 26 fifth-generation F-35 fighters.

The US Navy buildup near Taiwan is a clear message to China that it cannot have a free pass to Taipei as Washington is locked in a confrontation with Russia over Ukraine. ‘The message to China is that the US hasn’t taken its eyes off Beijing and wants the PLA to stay away from Taiwan until the Ukraine crisis is resolved,’ former ambassador says Indian in the United States.

Since the start of the US-Russian escalation over Ukraine, many thought it would give President Xi Jinping a free pass to aggressively pursue what China calls its core interests. The Biden administration previously told China this month that it is monitoring the PLA buildup in Ladakh as the India-China clash over the Line of Actual Control (LAC) completes its second winter on the Tibetan plateau.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis (MP-IDSA) and Ben Gurion Prize 2011 by Israel.
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Christi C. Elwood