Friday, September 17, 2021

US military withdrawal in Indo-Pacific sent message to Beijing: Experts

news analysis

Since August, both China and the United States, along with their allies, have increased their military presence around Taiwan, fueling speculation about whether the Communist Party of China (CCP) plans to attack the self-governing island. Will take the risk

In a phone interview with the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times on August 30, Steven Xia, a former Chinese official involved in weapons technology development, said there has been increased military activity from the West as the CCP aggressively flexed its muscles. . Area.

The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, and other US Navy ships, along with several ships from other countries, have been operating in waters near Taiwan and in the South China Sea for the past several weeks.

From 22 August to 24 August, a carrier strike group led by HMS Queen Elizabeth and USS America LHA-6 (a light aircraft carrier) and her strike group conducted a joint military exercise in the Philippine Sea, adjacent to South China. sea. Military ships from Japan and the Netherlands also participated in this large-scale exercise.

Xia said the military power that the aircraft carriers represented was enormous.

“These three aircraft carriers make up more attack power than the entire army of many countries. They carry about 80 fighters in total,” he said.

“Every Destroyer” [from the strike groups] There are hundreds of air-to-surface missiles, and nuclear submarines also have intercontinental cruise missiles. As a result the whole action is huge,” he said.

“Such a mobilization of military force in the Western Pacific is a call to the CCP to behave itself. The CCP is unable to tolerate the attack power of the US and its allies.

On 28 August, USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) docked for several days at Yokosuka Base, Japan, after a gap of 18 years.

As part of her 28-week deployment, HMS Queen Elizabeth also visited Yokosuka sometime later.

On 10 September, a US Navy media release stated that the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group was operating in the South China Sea “to maintain free and open access to Indo-Pacific waters in support of security and stability in the region”. Was.

Lee Cheng-Hisu, a military expert at Taiwan’s National Policy Foundation, also believes that military activity by the US and its allies, especially in the Indo-Pacific near the Taiwan Strait, is a deterrent.

As part of that, the USS Carl Vinson’s visit to Japan is an important sign, Lee told the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times on August 30.

“The military and diplomatic strategy of the Biden administration is now clear, which is to transfer its military might to the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.

The Biden administration has always avoided calling the CCP an enemy but considers it its biggest rival.

“But everyone knows Biden’s implied statement meant something else. The return of USS Carl Vinson to the Japanese base is basically aimed at the CCP,” he said.

According to Lee, only Japan can be considered a reliable ally for Washington in Asia. Although South Korea has signed a military alliance treaty with the US, it cannot provide substantial assistance against the CCP.

As far as ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is concerned, it does not want to be involved in a possible US-China confrontation. As a result, Washington would have to increase its military power in the Indo-Pacific to stop the CCP.

“Biden hopes that Europe, including Britain, France, Germany and other NATO allies, can take more defensive action so that the United States can shift its focus to the Indo-Pacific region,” Lee said.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth
F-35B Lightning II aircraft on the offshore deck of the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in Portugal on May 27, 2021. (Bart Biesmann/Reuters)

While the US and its allies have conducted two large-scale military exercises in Indo-Pacific waters since August, the CCP has also conducted several military exercises in the East China Sea, the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait.

The exercises simulated island seizures and multi-service joint operations but Lee said he believed the CCP would not dare attack Taiwan.

He said the US military is more advanced and more experienced than the Chinese army. He said that there is a huge difference in the combat capability of the two countries.

However, the CCP has a geographical advantage and can devote all of its resources to war, Lee pointed out.

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“That said, the CCP does not believe its geographic feature can complement its losses in arsenal,” Lee said. “That’s why the CCP is using military exercises to show off, but it doesn’t dare to cross the red line, because it’s aware of its military weakness.”

Li believed that the CCP feared that an attack on Taiwan could also lead to the fall of the regime.

“What the CCP is most concerned about is the stability of its regime. He believes that as long as the Chinese economy is good, the Chinese people will not stand against the regime or demand political democratization.

“If a war breaks out against America, the CCP will worry that if it loses the war, the leader should step down and the regime will fall. Hence the CCP to try and counter America with so-called intimidation and military exercises. but it will not actually attack Taiwan,” he said.

Xia takes a different view, believing that the CCP needs to be treated with caution. He said that in the past, the international community thought that the CCP was exerting some pressure on Taiwan to control the United States.

“But the CCP’s recent military action is now making people think they can attack Taiwan,” he said.

Yug Times Photos
Yug Times Photos
A Chinese Navy formation, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning (C), during military exercises in the South China Sea on January 2, 2017. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Xia noted that CCP had recently sought a 16,000-ton civilian roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) ferry capable of carrying military vehicles for landing in Taiwan. He said this could be a sign that the CCP is about to act.

According to a July report published by the Jamestown Foundation, a US think tank, China has 63 Ro-Ro ships that can be converted for use in transporting military units.

“These are ships equipped with built-in ramps that enable wheeled and tracked cargo to be loaded and offloaded under their own power,” wrote Conor Kennedy, a research associate at the US Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute.

Xia said the military forces used by Beijing in recent coastal exercises are on a scale never seen before.

“These actions really concern the US and that is why the US has positioned the Western Pacific at the doorstep of the CCP,” he said.

“The US was vague in its strategy towards Taiwan. It was unequivocally unwilling to say whether it would intervene if the CCP attacked Taiwan. But from its recent military deployment it can be seen that the US will definitely intervene,” said Zia.

Terry Zhou contributed to the article.

luo yao

long tengyun

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

US military withdrawal in Indo-Pacific sent message to Beijing: Experts
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