US Armed Forces intensifies submarine-hunting patrolling operations around Taiwan
The US Armed Forces have reportedly intensified operations around Taiwan, both in the air and at sea in the past week to demonstrated that Washington is continuing to monitoring the region, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
US Navy (USN) P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft was reported flying near Taiwan’s southern airspace Tuesday, marking the fourth time in March a US aircrafts had been spotted operating in the South China Sea, according to local media.
The other three occurrences happened on March 25 by an EP-3E ARIES II reconnaissance aircraft, on March 26 by a B-52 Stratofortress bomber and a KC-135 tanker, and on March 27 by a B-52 bomber and an RC-135U reconnaissance aircraft.
US and China have taken turns in demonstrating strength around Taiwan, with the Beijing stepping up bomber and fighter manoeuvres at the edge of Taiwan’s airspace, and USN sailing a destroyer up the Taiwan Strait this week.
Donald Trump has also recently signed into law the ‘Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act’, obliging the US to help bolster international support for Taiwan. The move out Washington on a collision course with Beijing even as the two countries try to normalise relations that have deteriorated over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The TAIPEI act also says the Washington must “alter its economic, security and diplomatic engagement with nations that take serious or significant actions to undermine the security or prosperity of Taiwan”.
Lin Ying-yu, An assistant professor at National Chung Cheng University’s Institute of Strategic and International Affairs, said that Trump’s administration is playing the “anti-China/pro-Taiwan card” by frequently performing ISTAR mission near Taiwan to gain votes in the upcoming US presidential election.