A destroyer flotilla of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) reportedly sailed in the waters between the island of Taiwan and some islands of Japan in the past week. Chinese analysts said the move sent a warning to Japanese right-wing forces and Taiwan secessionists, at a time when the two have been colluding to sabotage peace and stability in the region.
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force spotted a PLA Navy flotilla consisting of the Type 052D destroyer Zibo and the Sovremenny-class destroyer Hangzhou, as they sailed through the Miyako Strait, which is between Okinawa Island and Miyako Island, and then headed south into the Pacific Ocean on September 3, according to a press release from Japan’s Ministry of Defense Joint Staff on Wednesday.
On Sunday, these warships joined up with the Type 052C destroyer Zhengzhou and sailed north through the waters between Island of Taiwan and Yonaguni Island, returning to the East China Sea, the Japanese press release said.
While Japan claimed to have deployed forces to monitor the Chinese naval movements, the Japanese forces failed to obtain a photo of the Hangzhou or the Zhengzhou.
On August 24, another PLA naval flotilla sailed through the Miyako Strait, but it returned by the same route on August 26, according to press releases by Japan’s Ministry of Defense Joint Staff at the time.
Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi claimed in an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun on Tuesday that Japan could not stay outside developments in Taiwan as both shared universal values such as freedom and democracy, Taiwan News reported on the day.
Source: Global Times