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Chinese warship deployed to waters between Yonaguni and Taiwan around the clock

  • August 31, 2021
  • , Sankei , Lead
  • JMH Translation
  • ,

 A Chinese warship has been deployed to waters between Japan’s westernmost island of Yonaguni (Okinawa Prefecture) and Taiwan around-the-clock, senior Japanese government and Taiwanese military sources disclosed on Aug. 30. This is in addition to two Chinese warships that have been permanently deployed north of the Senkaku Islands (Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture) near 27 degrees north latitude. The Japanese government views the additional deployment as meant to raise military tensions and is analyzing Chinese intentions.  

 

According to a source, the additional vessel has been deployed north-northwest of Yonaguni Island and was first spotted toward the end of last year. Vessels belonging to China’s East Sea Fleet (headquarters: Ningbo, Zhejiang province) are normally deployed in regular rotation to the area around the clock.

 

The waters between Yonaguni and Taiwan stretch approximately 110 kilometers, and the distance from the area to the Senkaku Islands is about 170 kilometers. The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s Coast Observation Unit is deployed to Yonaguni Island to monitor by radar the waters between Yonaguni Island and Taiwan.

 

The Japanese government is increasingly convinced that China’s aim is to warn Taiwanese and other vessels sailing in waters between Yonaguni and Taiwan, which the Chinese government views as an important route to the Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile, a Taiwanese source informed the Sankei Shimbun that their analysis suggests that the deployment is to warn the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels sailing in the area.

 

On May 1, a Chinese Navy frigate sailed northward between Yonaguni Island and Taiwan into the East China Sea. The frigate was separate from the vessels deployed to the area in rotation. However, the Joint Staff Office of the Ministry of Defense decided to announce the ship’s movement for the first time on the same day as a warning to the Chinese military, which was intensifying activities in the area.

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