China ‘senses weakness’ from Biden over the South China Sea
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Military expert and columnist HI Sutton shared an image of the Type-094 Jin Class SSBN submarine that was taken by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 satellite. On his website, Covert Shores, Mr Sutton wrote: “Although Sentinel-2 is low resolution, the wake patterns are characteristic of a submarine with a typical rounded bow. The length best fits the Type 094 and the context aligns.”
Mr Sutton thought that the submarine was on a journey north from a submarine base at Yulin in the South China Sea and that the transit was probably a routine procedure.
That is because Chinese submarines return to the Bohai shipyard in the Bohai Sea for repairs.
But a US Navy P-8A anti-submarine patrol aircraft was also seen flying over the Taiwan Strait from the Misawa Air Base in Japan on Monday, according to Beijing-based think-thank South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative.
It comes as tensions between Washington and Beijing has escalated over China’s military advances in the South China Sea.
This puts pressure on Taiwan, which China claims it should have the rightful ownership of.
But Taiwan wants independence, and as result, China appears to be building up a military presence near the Taiwan Strait.
The US has declared it will support Taiwan in the event of a military attack from China, which Beijing appears to be sizing up.
It has been suggested by an expert that Beijing was building mock-up targets of US aircraft carriers in order to help troops train for real-life operations.
Taiwanese defence minister Chiu Kuo-cheng on Monday said that the recent developments in the Taiwan Strait have made the tension even hotter.
Back in October, he said that tensions with Beijing had reached their worst in 40 years, warning that actual combat might be on the cards.
And on Sunday, the Taiwanese defence ministry said 27 Chinese aircraft were spotted in its air defence buffer zone.
In its latest move, Beijing has sent over 18 fighter jets and five H-6 bombers, as well as a Y-20 aerial refuelling aircraft, according to Taiwan’s defence ministry.
Taiwan’s government has said there were up to 554 “intrusions” by Chinese warplanes into its southwestern air defence identification zone between September 2020 and the end of August this year.
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President Joe Biden has told China that the US is strongly against its “unilateral efforts to change the status quo” and undermine peace and stability in the region.
President Xi Jinping warned Mr Biden that supporting Taiwan’s independence bid is “like playing with fire” and that Beijing was prepared to take “decisive measures”.
And last week, five US lawmakers visited Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, in a move that infuriated Mr Jinping.
China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian told the US that it is “not to play the Taiwan card, because it’s a bad card, and a losing hand”.
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