US deploys four warships east of Taiwan as Pelosi heads to Taipei

US deploys four warships east of Taiwan as Pelosi heads to Taipei

A demonstrator tears a U.S. flag during a protest against U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit, in Taipei, Taiwan, Aug. 2. Reuters-Yonhap

Amid China’s anger over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island, four US warships, including an aircraft carrier, were deployed in waters east of Taiwan on Tuesday in what the US Navy described as normal operations.

The USS Ronald Reagan has passed through the South China Sea and is now in the Philippine Sea, east of Taiwan and the Philippines, and south of Japan, US Navy officials told Reuters.

Japan-based Reagan operates the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam and the destroyer USS Higgins.
“They are available for any contingency, but these are normal routines,” said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

They would not comment on the exact location.

Officials said the amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli is also in the area.

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi / AP-Yonhap

Pelosi, a longtime China critic, was due to arrive in Taipei late Tuesday, people briefed on the matter said the US would not be intimidated by China’s warnings before the visit.

Prior to Pelosi’s visit, there were signs of military activity on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. 4,444 Chinese planes flew near the center line dividing the waterway on Tuesday morning, and several Chinese warships have remained near the unofficial dividing line since Monday, a person familiar with the matter said. A source told Reuters.

China’s defense ministry and foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Chinese planes made repeated tactical maneuvers, briefly “touching” the center line and then circling back to the other side of the strait, the sources said, while Taiwanese planes waited nearby. rice field.

Three other Chinese warships conducted drills on Tuesday in waters east of Taiwan to simulate attacks on aircraft carriers, the person said. According to Japanese defense forces, the ship was tracked as it crossed Japan’s southern islands over the weekend. Taiwan’s defense ministry said it would deploy appropriate forces in response to “enemy threats.”

The Ministry ramped up combat readiness from Tuesday morning until noon Thursday, the state-run Central News Agency reported, citing unnamed sources.

Since last week, the PLA has conducted various exercises, including live-fire exercises, in the South China Sea, Yellow Sea, and Bohai Sea.

Military analysts in some regions say more deployments during times of tension increase the risk of casualties, even when neither side wants an actual conflict. (Reuters)

Credit/Source : KOREATIMES

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