Posts Tagged ‘Taiwan’

China urges US to stop ‘unfriendly’ recon flights

July 25, 2017

AFP

© NAVY VISUAL NEWS SERVICE/AFP/File | The US has accused China of conducting unsafe intercepts twice in May, including an encounter between a US Navy P-3 and Chinese J-10s over the South China Sea

BEIJING (AFP) – China on Tuesday called on the United States to stop “unfriendly” and “dangerous” military flights after two Chinese fighter jets intercepted an American surveillance plane over the East China Sea.The US Navy EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft took evasive action Sunday after a Chinese J-10 warplane zoomed underneath it, slowed down and pulled up in front of it, the Pentagon said earlier.

China’s defence ministry said the action of its pilots was “legal, necessary and professional”.

“The US military aircraft coming near China’s border and carrying out reconnaissance has threatened China’s national security, damaged Sino-US military air and sea safety, endangered the personal safety of both pilots,” it said in a statement.

“The US side should immediately stop such unsafe, unprofessional and unfriendly dangerous military activities and take practical measures to add positive energy to the development of Sino-US military relations.”

Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said the incident, which occurred west of the Korean peninsula, was an “uncharacteristic” example of unsafe behaviour by the Chinese military.

“There are intercepts that occur in international air space regularly, and the vast majority of them are conducted in a safe manner,” he said.

The US accused China of conducting unsafe intercepts twice in May, when similar encounters occurred between a WC-135 “nuclear sniffer” plane and Chinese SU-30 fighters over the East China Sea and later in the month between a US Navy P-3 and Chinese J-10s over the South China Sea.

In April 2001 a Chinese fighter jet collided with a US Navy EP-3 spy plane around 110 kilometres (70 miles) off Hainan Island over the South China Sea.

One Chinese pilot died and the US plane made an emergency landing on Hainan, where China held the 24-member crew for more than a week until Beijing and Washington cut a deal for their release.

The East China Sea is part of the Pacific and home to small islands whose ownership is disputed by China, Japan and Taiwan.

China also claims a string of islets across the South China Sea and its military expansion in the contested waterway has sparked heightened tensions with regional neighbours and the United States.

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(July 24, 2017)

  (May 24, 2016)

Taiwan says it’s prepared to defend itself — Reaction to pushy Chinese patrols — Strongly worded response to recent flybys by Chinese warplanes

July 25, 2017

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A Taiwanese Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF) (below) monitors a Chinese Xian H-6 bomber near Taiwan’s air defence identification zone July 20, 2017. Picture taken July 20, 2017. Handout via REUTERS

Reuters

JULY 25, 2017 / 2:04 AM

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan is prepared to defend itself against China if necessary, the self-ruled island’s defense ministry said on Tuesday, in a strongly worded response to recent flybys by Chinese warplanes near the island China claims as a wayward province.

China’s military has flown several fighter and reconnaissance aircraft near Taiwan for training exercises in the past few days, according to the ministry.

“The People’s Liberation Army has never given up on the idea of resolving problems through the use of military force,” ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi told a news briefing.

“We believe in peace. We will not take the initiative that could lead to war. But we will not back down in the face of threats.”

Taiwan was strategically prepared to ensure Taiwan’s security in both the air and sea, Chen added, without elaborating.

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China’s aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. Taiwan has complained when it said Liaoning came too close to Taiwan

China has yet to offer an account of the recent drills near Taiwan. China’s air force said earlier this month its fighters and bombers had recently conducted “multiple” long-range drills far out at sea, including flying near Japan and Taiwan.

China has been increasingly asserting itself in territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas. Beijing is also worried about a government in Taiwan China fears is intent on independence.

Beijing has never ruled out the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, and has warned any moves towards formal independence could prompt an armed response.

Proudly democratic Taiwan has shown no interest in being run by autocratic China.

China is in the midst of an ambitious military modernization program that includes building aircraft carriers and developing stealth fighters to give it the ability to project power far from its shores.

Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Ben Blanchard

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China H-6 bomber over Scarborough Shoal, the Philippines

2 Chinese bombers flew over Taiwanese airspace: Taiwan

Prime News, International (Taipei), July 22:- Two Chinese H-6K bombers have flown over Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone east of the island under the close vigil of the latter’s combat aircrafts, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said.

Taiwanese fighter jets closely monitored the movements of the Chinese planes and never posed a threat to national security, the ministry said in a statement on Friday, and called for citizens to remain calm.

It is the first time the Taiwanese military has released photographs showing Chinese military aircraft, Efe news reported.

This year has seen a series of intrusions by Chinese planes and vessels — including aircraft carrier Liaoning — through eastern as well as western Taiwanese waters.

Meanwhile, Taipei has bolstered military exercises and taken steps to keep an eye on the passage of Chinese ships and aircrafts.

Earlier, on Thursday, Japan said 10 Chinese military aircrafts, including H-6K bombers, had overflown the East China Sea, passing through the Miyako Strait between Taiwan and Japan.

Since Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen — who is opposed to a union with China — took charge in May 2016, Beijing has stepped up the diplomatic siege as well as military intimidation of the island.

China considers Taiwan a renegade province and has refused to give up on the use of arms to gain control of the territory. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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U.S. Navy Plane Takes ‘Evasive Action’ to Avoid Chinese Fighter Jet

July 25, 2017

WASHINGTON — A United States Navy spy plane had to take evasive action to avoid crashing into a Chinese fighter jet that suddenly pulled up in front of the American plane in contested skies above the East China Sea on Sunday, the Pentagon said.

Two Chinese fighter planes intercepted the Navy EP-3 surveillance plane, approaching at high speeds from beneath the American plane, said Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.

When the planes were only a few hundred feet apart, one of the Chinese planes slowed down and flew directly in front of the Navy plane, prompting the American pilot to take what Captain Davis described as “evasive action.” He said the episode took place in international airspace between the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea, west of the Korean Peninsula.

A number of small islands in the East China Sea are claimed simultaneously by China, Japan and Taiwan, and Beijing has made a policy of disputing the presence of American spy planes that come near disputed islands there as well as those in the South China Sea.

The United States has backed China’s neighbors in challenging those claims, as well as China’s military buildup on disputed islands. American ships and planes often traverse those seas and skies to exercise what the Pentagon has called their right to move through international airspace and waters.

Defense officials said that the United States has complained about the episode to Beijing, but Captain Davis also appeared to take pains to avoid escalating the issue. He made a point of characterizing it as out of the ordinary for China.

“This is uncharacteristic of the normal safe behavior we see from the Chinese military,” Captain Davis told reporters at the Pentagon. “There are intercepts that occur in international airspace regularly, and the vast majority of them are conducted in a safe manner.”

He called Sunday’s encounter “the exception, not the norm.”’

During last year’s presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump labeled President Barack Obama as weak in defending international waters off the coast of China, where Beijing has engaged in a sharp military buildup to reclaim land, install runways and haul equipment onto reefs and shoals it claims as its own. But since taking office, amid mounting tensions with North Korea, the Trump administration has shown deference to Beijing.

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Related:

(July 24, 2017)

  (May 24, 2016)

The U.S. Air Force's WC-135 Constant Phoenix sniffer plane in a file photo. (Yonhap)

The U.S. Air Force’s WC-135 Constant Phoenix sniffer plane in a file photo. (Yonhap)

An SU-30 fighter jet

An SU-30 fighter jet CREDIT: EPA

Related:

China has built islands by reclamation of sand and coral and has militarized them for People’s Liberationa Army (PLA) use. Seen here, Chinese structures and an airstrip on the man-made Subi Reef at the Spratlys group of islands are shown from the Philippine Air Force C-130 transport plane of the Philippine Air Force during the visit to the Philippine-claimed Thitu Island by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces Chief Gen. Eduardo Ano and other officials off the disputed South China Sea in western Philippines Friday, April 21, 2017. Philippine President Duterte on Friday, May 19, 2017, described this as “some kind of armed garrison.” Credit Francis Malasig/Pool Photo via AP — China has now occupied and built up by reclamation seven small reefs and atolls that have been made ready for military use.

 (Smart money is on China right now)

FILE - Vietnam People's Navy personnel carry their country's national flag.

 (Contains links to several earlier related stories)

FILE photo p rovided by Filipino fisherman Renato Etac —  A Chinese Coast Guard boat approaches Filipino fishermen near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. Scarborough Shoal has always been part of the Philippines, by international law. China says it is happy to control fishing in the South China Sea. Credit: Renato Etac

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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said this claim by China was not valid. But China chose to ignore international law.

China says it wants to ‘maintain stability’ in disputed South China Sea

July 24, 2017

By Panu Wongcha-um

Reuters
July 24, 2017

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday Beijing wanted to maintain stability in the South China Sea as it seeks alliances in the region amid tensions in the disputed waters.

The United States has criticized China for disregarding international law by the construction and militarization of artificial islands in the South China Sea, undermining regional stability.

China claims most of the energy-rich sea through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. Neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.

Thailand is not a claimant state in the dispute and has maintained a neutral stance on the topic.

Addressing the South China Sea issue, Wang, on an official visit to Bangkok, told reporters China would like to “maintain stability in the South China Sea, abiding by the terms that have been agreed on the Declaration of Conduct and Code of Conduct in near future”.

China and Southeast Asian countries agreed in May to a framework for a long-proposed code of conduct for the disputed waters.

Wang’s visit comes ahead of a regional meeting of Southeast Asian countries in Manila next month.

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) is received by Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O-Cha (R) at Government House in Bangkok, Thailand July 24, 2017. Lillian Suwanrumpha/Pool

“China and Thailand are like brothers,” Wang said.

Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai praised Thai-Chinese relations, saying there were “no obstacles” to the relationship between the two.

Thailand this year has approved Chinese submarines, tank and helicopter purchases worth more than $500 million.

Last month, Thailand approved the construction of the first phase of a $5.5 billion railway project to link the industrial eastern seaboard with southern China through landlocked Laos, part of China’s One Belt One Road regional infrastructure drive.

The project, which has been held back by delays, was pushed through after junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha invoked an executive order known as Article 44.

Wang said he hoped the rail project would “elevate” Thailand’s status in the region and said that the two countries would overcome differences to bring the rail project to fruition.

($1 = 33.4200 baht)

Additional reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre, Angie Teo and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Nick Macfie

Australia Says Chinese Spy Ship Near War Games

July 22, 2017

(Reuters) – A Chinese spy ship has been detected off the Australian coast near joint war games underway between the United States, New Zealand and Australian militaries, the Australian Defense Force (ADF) said on Saturday.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy Type 815 Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence vessel was operating off the northeast coast during the Talisman Sabre war games, the ADF said in a statement.

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Chinese Type 815 Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence

The Chinese ship remained outside Australian territorial waters but was inside the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone in the Coral Sea, it said.

“The vessel’s presence has not detracted from the exercise objectives. Australia respects the rights of all states to exercise freedom of navigation in international waters in accordance with international law,” the statement said.

More than 30,000 troops from the United States, New Zealand and Australia are taking part in biennial war games, which end in late July.

China’s growing military presence, particularly in the disputed South China Sea, has raised tensions with regional neighbours and drawn criticism from both the United States and Australia.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims in the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes each year.

(Reporting by Joseph Hinchliffe; Editing by Michael Perry)

Taiwan Says Chinese Aircraft Flew Near Island in Military Exercise

July 21, 2017

TAIPEI — China flew several fighter and reconnaissance aircraft near Taiwan in a training exercise, the self-ruled island’s defense ministry said on Friday.

Despite decades of growing trade across the Taiwan Strait, China has never renounced the use of force, if necessary, to reclaim what it considers a breakaway province to which the defeated Nationalists fled after losing a civil war in 1949.

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“We were in a position to monitor their movements from the beginning to the end,” defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said, describing what he called a routine exercise. “There’s nothing for our people to worry about.”

The ministry released two photographs, one showing a Chinese warplane as it flew near Taiwan on Thursday.

The Chinese government has not issued a statement on the exercise.

In a similar military exercise last week, China flew six warplanes over the Miyako Strait between Japan’s islands of Miyako and Okinawa to the northeast of Taiwan, which Taiwan’s defense ministry said it had also monitored.

Such exercises were legal and proper and Japan should “get used to it”, China’s defense ministry said at the time.

The flyover by the formation of Xian H-6 bombers was “unusual”, Japan’s defense ministry said in a statement, but added there had been no violation of the country’s airspace.

China’s navy and air force have held exercises in the Western Pacific in recent months, as they hone their ability to operate far from home shores.

(Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

China Protests Against U.S. Proposed Expanded Training and Exercises with Taiwan

July 17, 2017

BEIJING — China said on Monday it had lodged a stern complaint with the United States after the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of a big annual defense bill that would expand exchanges with self-ruled Taiwan.

China considers democratic Taiwan to be a wayward province and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.

The United States has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to help it defend itself and is the island’s main source of arms.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), passed by the House on Friday, also proposes expanding training and exercises with Taiwan.

China Air Force Says Conducted ‘Multiple’ Long-Range Missions This Week

July 15, 2017

BEIJING — China’s air force said on Saturday that its fighters and bombers conducted “multiple” long-range drills far out at sea this week, including flying near Japan and self-ruled Taiwan, in what it said was a test of its ability to operate over the sea.

In a statement on its official microblog, the air force said its aircraft had flown through both the Miyako Strait – which lies between two southern Japanese islands – and the Bashi Channel that separates Taiwan and the Philippines.

“China’s air force over the past week conducted multiple drills far out at sea, with H-6K bombers and many other types of aircraft flying through the Bashi Channel and Miyako Strait, testing actual battle capabilities over the sea,” it said.

The exercises were part of routine drills planned for this year, accord with international law and practices and are not aimed at any specific country, the air force added.

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 Chinese H-6K bomber over Scarborough Shoal (China calls Huangyan) in the Philippines

Such exercises will continue, it added.

China’s Defence Ministry told Japan on Friday to “get used to it” after it flew six warplanes over the Miyako Strait.

China has been increasingly asserting itself in territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas. Beijing is also worried about Taiwan, claimed by China as its own but run by a government China fears is intent on independence.

Beijing has never ruled out the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, and has warned any moves towards formal independence could prompt an armed response.

China is in the midst of an ambitious military modernization program that includes building aircraft carriers and developing stealth fighters, to give it the ability to project power far from its shores.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Taiwan lawmakers go for the jugular in parliament brawl

July 13, 2017

AFP

© AFP | The Taiwan lawmakers’ brawl was broken up by about dozen people

TAIPEI (AFP) – 

Two Taiwanese lawmakers tried to choke each other during a brawl in the island’s parliament Thursday as the government of President Tsai Ing-wen pressed ahead with controversial reforms.

Female legislators from opposing camps had their hands on each other’s throats as a dozen colleagues pushed and shouted trying to separate them in the main chamber during a review of a major infrastructure project.

The opposition Kuomintang party is against the plan, saying it favours cities and counties faithful to Tsai’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and has been devised to secure support for the party ahead of next year’ s regional elections.

The project includes light rail lines, flood control measures and green energy facilities.

Critics have also questioned whether the whopping Tw$420 billion ($14 billion) cost of the project is really worthwhile.

The review hearing was suspended following the brawl as Kuomintang lawmakers occupied the podium. It was expected to resume Thursday afternoon.

Tsai has seen her popularity plummet to under 40 percent from nearly 70 percent when she took office in May last year as her government attempts to tackle a range of controversial issues from gay marriage to pension and judicial reforms.

Violent protests erupted outside the parliament in April when opponents of pension reforms attacked politicians and scuffled with police, prompting Tsai to call for calm and restraint.

Parliament was also plunged into chaos late last year when opposing lawmakers brawled in the chamber, as labour activists set off smoke bombs outside in protest at proposed holiday cuts.

 

Drilling for oil in disputed sea may resume this year: Philippine official

July 12, 2017

By Enrico Dela Cruz
Reuters

MANILA (Reuters) – Drilling for oil and natural gas on the Reed Bank in the South China Sea may resume before the end of the year, a Philippine energy official said on Wednesday, as the government prepares to offer new blocks to investors in bidding in December.

The Philippines suspended exploration at the Reed Bank, which it calls Recto Bank, in late 2014, as it pursued international arbitration over territorial disputes.

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The bank is in waters claimed by China.

Ismael Ocampo, director at the Department of Energy’s Resource Development Bureau, told reporters the agency expected the suspension to be lifted in December.

He said a directive from the Department of Foreign Affairs directing the Department of Energy to resume oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea was already in the works.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, where about $5 trillion worth of sea-borne goods pass every year. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims.

Exactly a year ago, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague invalidated China’s claim to sovereignty over most of the South China Sea.

The ruling, which China refused to recognize, clarified Philippine sovereign rights in its 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone to access offshore oil and gas fields, including the Reed Bank, 85 nautical miles off its coast.

“We will try to conduct seismic activities,” in the disputed waters, Ocampo said, hopeful that China would not complain and harass crews of survey ships to be deployed.

In 2011, Chinese patrol vessels almost rammed a survey ship at the Reed Bank contracted by a PXP Energy Corp (PXP.PS) unit.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who took power shortly before the Hague ruled in favor of Manila, has said he would raise the landmark ruling with China eventually, but he first needed to strengthen relations between the two countries.

Duterte, who has been cool toward old ally the United States, hopes closer ties with China will yield billions of dollars in loans and investment in infrastructure, the backbone of his economic agenda.

PXP Energy Chairman Manuel Pangilinan said in March he was optimistic his company’s exploration project at Reed Bank would soon resume, citing the warming ties with China.

The Philippines, which relies overwhelmingly on imports to fuel its fast-growing economy, is under pressure to develop indigenous energy resources. Its main source of natural gas, the Malampaya field near the disputed waters, is due to run out in less a decade.

PXP’s Reed Bank prospect has indicated natural gas yield potential.

More than two dozen oil, gas and coal blocks, including additional areas in disputed waters, may be offered during the December bidding, Ocampo said.

Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Robert Birsel

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The international arbitration court in the Hague said on July 12, 2016, that China’s “nine dash line” was not recognized under international law — making the Vietnamese and Philippine claims on South China Sea islands valid and lawful.