Friday, January 13, 2017

China's Naval Might Rattles Taiwan

Taiwanese nerves were rattled.
Just because a flotilla of Chinese ships were nearby. 

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry reported it kept a close eye on China’s sole aircraft carrier as it passed through the 100-mile-wide (160km-wide) Taiwan Strait on Wednesday. The Liaoning was accompanied by warships.
It was not a hostile act. The armada did not enter Taiwanese waters. And the ministry only said the fleet had crossed Taiwan's air defense identification zone.

The Liaoning carrier sat anchored at a port in Qingdao, China in 2013. Photo: Associated Press

The ship was returning from its first "blue water" drill in the South China Sea in December 2016. Photo credit: China Stringer Network, via Reuters

Still, that prompted Taiwan to scramble F-16 fighter jets and even dispatch a frigate. It is a show of force that doesn’t amount to anything!
Taiwan’s response was the third time in three days that air forces in the region had scrambled jets in response to Chinese military activity – after Japan and South Korea deployed fighters on Monday.
Those actions occurred when a squadron of six Chinese bombers and two other aircraft flew over the waters that separate Japan and South Korea and over the Sea of Japan.
China’s rapid military modernization has raised concerns about its intentions, particularly regarding Taiwan, which it claims as its territory.
China is flexing its muscles. And why not?
But let cool heads prevail.
After all, Liu Zhenmin, a Chinese vice foreign minister, had said on the same day that the Taiwan Strait was an international waterway and that it was normal for the Liaoning to pass though it.
The passage would not have any effect on cross-strait relations, he said in remarks carried in the Chinese news media.
It was also not the first time the Liaoning had sailed through the Taiwan Strait: It passed through in November 2013 on its way to the South China Sea after having been commissioned only the year before.
There’s nothing to get excited about. Chill lah!
Liverpool didn’t make amends for their FA Cup flop – they compounded it with a 0-1 loss to Southampton. It was a distressing display in the League Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday.
Sigh. I hope the Reds can redeem themselves in the second leg at Anfield on January 25.

I was at Persiaran Pasak Bumi in Seksyen U8, Perindustrian Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam yesterday – to attend the Zuellig Pharma Toastmasters meeting. I was tasked to evaluate two speeches, CC #2 and CC #4.

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