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China reportedly has 4 warships deployed around Taiwan at all times

China strengthening deterrence capabilities to prevent US forces from entering first island chain

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(Weibo, People's Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command photo)

(Weibo, People's Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China is deploying four warships at four locations around Taiwan "around the clock" as it seeks to prevent the U.S. from having the capability of dispatching forces in the event of a Chinese attack, according to Japanese media.

The Yomiuri Shimbun quoted multiple government sources as saying that China strongly objected to the visit of former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in August 2022 and responded by conducting large-scale military exercises around the country. Since then, four People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) warships, primarily frigates, have been deployed in the waters surrounding Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) at all times.

As for the areas patrolled by the warships, one is located around Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture, one between Yonaguni Island and the Philippines, and one each in the waters southwest and north of Taiwan. In addition, one warship is reportedly permanently deployed to the northwest of the Diaoyutai Islands (Senkaku Islands).

The article said multiple Chinese warships are constantly deployed in the waters northeast of the Diaoyutai Islands, near the border of China's ADIZ. The islands are reportedly surrounded on three sides by Chinese naval vessels as China claims the Diaoyutai Islands as "part of Taiwan."

The newspaper cited analysts as saying that if China decides to invade Taiwan, there is a possibility that a "Senkaku Incident" will occur at the same time.

According to the report, China is strengthening its anti-access/area denial (A2AD) capabilities to constrain the military activities of other countries in its vicinity. This strategy aims to prevent the U.S. military from entering the first island chain, which connects the Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

Koda Yoji, a former commander in chief of the Self-Defense Fleet, emphasized that there is a gap in Japan's defenses and that "there is a strong possibility that China will use force to make a move on the Senkaku Islands in the future. Japan needs to be fully prepared for any such scenario."

On Dec. 30, a Yomiuri Shimbun journalist captured a photo of a PLAN Jiangkai II-class guided-missile frigate facing off with the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s frigate JS Mikuma inside an area where China's ADIZ overlaps with Japan's northeast of Taiwan. The newspaper cited an SDF source as saying the increased activity by Chinese military aircraft and naval vessels in the areas is "intended to block the SDF and U.S. military aircraft [from entering the airspace] in the event of contingencies in the Taiwan Strait."