Destroyer of the Chinese Navy Seen Off the Coast of a Neighbor

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In another indication of the heightened tensions between the neighbors, Taiwan’s navy reportedly turned back a Chinese warship that was approaching the island’s east coast on Thursday.

The outline and hull number of China’s Type 052D destroyer, the Nanjing, which NATO classifies as a Luyang II, were seen in a photo provided to Newsweek by the ship and aircraft spotting organization Taiwan ADIZ.

The 7,500-ton boat, which is part of the East Sea Fleet of the Chinese military, was traveling in waters between Yonaguni, the westernmost inhabited island of Japan, and Nan’an township, in Taiwan’s eastern Yilan county, which is less than 70 miles away.

One of the few routes used by Chinese air and naval forces to get out of the so-called first island chain and into the Pacific is the international waterway, along with other nearby outlets. As China’s “far-seas” power projection has grown more sophisticated, so has its presence in the waters.

Whereabouts of the Chinese destroyer approximately

Taiwan ADIZ said in a post on its social media platforms that the most recent confrontation included one of Taiwan’s Kang Ding-class frigates and was initially reported by Taiwan’s Liberty Times newspaper.

According to the group, the unidentified Taiwan naval frigate, which weighed about half as much as its Chinese counterpart, attempted to prevent the Nanjing from approaching the island’s 24-nautical mile continuous zone.

Despite Taipei’s repeated denials, Beijing maintains its claim to Taiwan, and Chinese officials—including President Xi Jinping—have not ruled out the possibility of taking the island by force in the future.

China’s military would probably be prepared to invade Taiwan by 2027, according to testimony given earlier this week to the House Armed Services Committee by Adm. John Aquilino, the departing commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, which is based in Hawaii. It is unclear, however, whether Xi planned to employ this capability.

Lin Jian, a spokesman for China’s new Foreign Ministry, replied, “We will never allow Taiwan to be separated from the motherland.” According to Lin, Beijing “firmly opposes” American efforts to emphasize China’s military danger.

We were unable to get in touch with the Chinese Defense Ministry for comment.

In the twenty-four hours leading up to six a.m. on March 22, six Chinese military warships were spotted near Taiwan, according to the Taiwanese Defense Ministry’s daily action report released on Friday.

The warships were part of 36 Chinese military aircraft that were flying above Taiwan; 13 of them, according to Taipei, entered the island’s air defense zone. This was the second day in a row that significant maneuvers had taken place in the area.

A request for a response from Taiwan’s Defense Ministry was not immediately answered.