The passage of a US Destroyer in the Taiwan Strait in the East China Sea has caused Beijing to call the US 'Destroyer of peace' after the AUKUS deal has allegedly made the Situation in the Indo Pacific a step closer to chaos.
The possible acquisition of nuclear submarines by the partners in the agreement and China's hostility to the US have only increased the likelihood of coming to blows in the South China Sea.
USS Barry, DDG 52 guided-missile destroyer, has transited the Taiwan Strait in a Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOPs) with other US Navy Arleigh Burke-class. Coming after the former Trump administration sent US ships in regular passages close the reefs claimed by China.
Aside from crossing the 12 nautical mile limit of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that the PLA often complains about, the influx of foreign ships in the Indo-Pacific has made Beijing very displeased.
China slams US over transit in Taiwan Strait
Both Washington and Beijing have been sparring over rightful claims in the South China Sea. Still, the AUKUS is causing a spike in the former, a reaction to getting business done in the South China Sea. But, having nuclear subs in the area will turn the heat up a notch, reported the Express UK.
China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command, Army Senior Colonel Shi Yi stated on China Military Online, said their forces shadowed the US ship.
For the nth time, the PLA echoed former statements that it was the US Destroyer Barry, not Beijing causing instability and creating a risky scenario in the Strait, with the AUKUS deal in the backdrop.
But the US shot back, saying they are not committing any violation as claimed by Beijing.
The 7th Fleet responds to Beijing's claims
A response issued by the 7th Fleet on their site, The USS Barry (DDG 52), went on a FONOPs in the Taiwan Strait on September 17 following the rules stated by international law. The destroyer upheld the US commitment to freedom of navigation of the Indo-Pacific, adding that the US will go anywhere allowed by international law. Comments from the mainland government follow after the PLA Eastern Theater Command engages in drills and relevant exercises to be ready in Southwestern Taiwan.
China's new Maritime Law
Last September 1, the Chinese Maritime Traffic Safety Law stated all vessels passing Chinese territory should be authorized with permits by their maritime agency. Seas claimed by China are not even legitimate enough to tell ships to give call signs and report their cargo. It is claimed to be used against ships that will endanger the maritime safety of the People's Republic of China. Examples are nuclear-powered vessels carrying uranium or similar items on board.
The People's Republic of China claims Taiwan as its own, but the island does recognize the mainland. Armed units of the PLAN and PLAAF have been practicing to retake the island by force, but it is denied every time. However, the AUKUS deal will change the disposition of China and might bring the threatened reunification to a close.