Thursday, June 8, 2023

China Forcing US and Allies Out, Preparing for Blockade of Taiwan: Former Marine Colonel

The USS Chung-Hoon observes a Chinese navy ship conduct what it called an "unsafe” Chinese maneuver in the Taiwan Strait, on June 3, 2023. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andre T. Richard/U.S. Navy via AP)

The USS Chung-Hoon observes a Chinese navy ship conduct what it called an "unsafe” Chinese maneuver in the Taiwan Strait, on June 3, 2023. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andre T. Richard/U.S. Navy via AP) 

The regime in China is seeking to force the United States and its allies out of the region and preparing for a blockade of Taiwan, according to Grant Newsham, a retired U.S. Marine colonel and the author of “When China Attacks.”

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command recently accused the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy of engaging in dangerous naval maneuvers on June 3 during an intercept of the American destroyer USS Chung-Hoon in the Taiwan Strait.

According to the U.S. military, the Chung-Hoon was conducting “a routine south to north Taiwan Strait transit” alongside the Canadian frigate HMCS Montréal when the incident occurred.

It stated that a Chinese warship overtook the Chung-Hoon and crossed its bow at a distance of 150 yards, forcing the U.S. vessel to reduce its speed to avoid a collision.

“The [Chinese vessel] LY 132’s closest point of approach was 150 yards, and its actions violated the maritime ‘Rules of the Road’ of safe passage in international waters,” U.S. Indo-Pacific Command stated.

China was “sending a very clear message really for the umpteenth time that they consider the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait, and surrounding waters to be Chinese territory,” Newsham told NTD’s “China in Focus.”

“And they are gradually locking down control of these waters and doing it bit by bit,” he said.

In another incident, a Chinese fighter jet aggressively intercepted a U.S. aircraft last month, risking the lives of its crew and escalating tensions between the two nations.

A J-16 fighter pilot “performed an unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” against a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance plane on May 26, according to a statement released by U.S. military officials on May 30.

Indo-Pacific Command released a video of the incident, in which the Chinese pilot aggressively cuts across the nose of the U.S. aircraft, forcing it to fly through the smaller plane’s turbulence.

“It’s China pursuing its objectives, which is to assert absolute control over these waters that are sort of in China’s vicinity and to keep the Americans out and to keep everyone else out unless they enter at China’s sufferance,” said Newsham, who’s also an Epoch Times contributor.

“It’s China really setting the rules for this territory, and doing whatever they can to tighten control. And you will look at this over the years, and you’ll see the Chinese capabilities to enforce this have gradually strengthened. And one of these days, they are just going to say ‘Don’t come in.’

“But it’s a gradual process. It’s what China does, they lay claim to something they want. And then they sort of harden it, and then they absolutely take control of it. And we’re seeing this process played out.”

Point of No Return

As the United States is constantly seeking to reestablish normal communications with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the aftermath of the Chinese spy balloon incident back in February, Newsham said the U.S. administration isn’t aware of the game that China is playing.

“The Americans don’t seem to recognize that that’s what the Chinese objectives are, they don’t want to believe it. And the idea seems to be, ‘Well, if we just keep going in, the Chinese will understand that we’re serious. And if we talk to them, even they will understand that what they’re doing is wrong. It’s not how the game is played. It’s not how civilized nations behave,’” he said.

“There seems to be a lack of understanding that the Chinese have a very different perspective of how international law, international custom and practice work. And they see it very differently than we do, and you’ve got to recognize that. So if you’re trying to think of some way to deal with it, it’s not going to be by trying to convince the Chinese that the way we and the West and the civilized nations do things is the right way. They don’t see it that way.”

Newsham singled out a recent remark by Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Gen. Li Shangfu.

Li said China’s military will attack “without any hesitation” any nation that dares to separate it from Taiwan. The comments were made in a speech on “China’s New Security Initiative” at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore over the weekend.

“You’ve got to take the Chinese at their word, and listen to what the defense minister said, and he wasn’t winging it. This was a very clear, firm statement that China is willing to use force. And so you better take that seriously,” Newsham said.

“I think that China’s objectives are very clear, and if they are not challenged and if we don’t stop aiding and abetting what China is doing, then I think we will find that we are at a point of no return. It may be where we don’t have the wherewithal or the ability [physically] or psychologically to resist. I think we’re headed that way.”

Melanie Sun,  Andrew Thornebrooke, and  Katabella Roberts contributed to this report.

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