In the past twenty years, China has done a lot of things on the international stage, not the least of which was strengthening its navy. In an effort to demonstrate to the world that the Chinese Navy is not just strong but capable, the panda is about to embark on a show of force in the Taiwan Straights, not all that unlike what the United States did when Bill Clinton was the occupier of the Oval Office. They are going to conduct live drills so that everyone can see their capability.
The Chinese government has been paranoid about any moves to bolster the island’s independence, and the drills are seen as a warning to the US not to interfere with China’s plans in Asia, says Professor John Blaxland from the ANU’s South-East Asia Institute and head of the university’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre.
“This is a demonstration to show to the regional players in the neighbourhood, to Taiwan, to Japan, to the other South-East Asian states that China is serious. It is going to have to be reckoned with if countries want to challenge it — and that’s a pretty powerful message,” he told news.com.au.
For China it’s a message 22 years in the making.
“Two decades ago Bill Clinton sent carrier strike groups through the Taiwan Strait as a show of force. This (Chinese exercise) is in my view an act that is very much with that assertion of American power in mind and demonstrating to the US, and others, that that’s not an option any more,” Prof Blaxland said.
Just wondering what sort of steel they used on their ships.