According to Reuters, the US has placed four warships, including an aircraft carrier, in waters east of Taiwan ahead of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s likely visit to the island. According to Reuters, the USS Ronald Reagan, headquartered in Japan, has transited the South China Sea.
Reagan is operating with a guided missile cruiser, the USS Antietam, and a destroyer, the USS Higgins, according to the news agency. “While they are capable of responding to any circumstance, they are standard, routine deployments,” a Reuters official said. In the meantime, China has dispatched armoured vehicles.
Journalist Bang Xiao posted a video supposedly showing armoured vehicles in action in the southern Chinese city of Xiamen.
The USS Tripoli, an amphibious assault ship, was also in the vicinity, according to a US Navy official, as part of a deployment to the region that began in early May from its home port of San Diego. The confirmation of the deployments comes as evidence of military action on both sides of the Taiwan Strait emerges ahead of Pelosi’s arrival.
A source briefed on the situation told Reuters that, in addition to Chinese planes flying near to the median line dividing the sensitive waterway on Tuesday morning, numerous Chinese vessels had remained close to the unofficial dividing line since Monday. The Chinese defence and foreign ministries did not reply quickly to calls for comment.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that it has a complete understanding of military activity near Taiwan and will respond accordingly to “enemy threats” as tensions with China grow. more info
According to the island’s official Central News Agency, which cited unidentified sources, the ministry “enhanced” its combat alertness level from Tuesday morning to Thursday noon.
Residents in the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen, which borders Taiwan and has a major military presence, reported seeing armoured vehicles on the move and shared photos online. Reuters has yet to verify the pictures.
Chinese social media was ablaze with both fear of confrontation and patriotic excitement about the idea of unification with Taiwan. The People’s Liberation Army has been conducting numerous exercises, including live fire drills, in the South China, Yellow, and Bohan Seas since last week. According to some regional military observers, higher deployments during times of stress increase the probability of mishaps, even if neither side desires a full-fledged battle.