Taipei: Japan and Taiwan have launched joint patrols against a Chinese destroyer sailing through the Miyako Strait and waters off Senkaku Islands. Japan and Taiwan did not comment on the joint patrols. However, the Taiwanese foreign minister announced the patrols against China would continue for the country’s security, for which Taiwan has collaborated with some countries. However, it is not the right time to disclose the identity of the concerned country, Taiwan’s defence minister said.
Last week, the Chinese Navy staged a large-scale military exercise with its aircraft carrier. It also patrolled the territorial waters of Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines. At the time, China’s Type 054A frigate or Binzhou, travelling through the western Pacific Ocean, sailed near Taiwanese and Japanese waters. The Japanese Defence Ministry had provided details on the patrol of China’s Binzhou warship.
The Japanese Defense Ministry had said the Chinese frigate had travelled through the Miyako Strait, which lies between the Senkakus and Okinawa Island. Also, Japan had sent an Abukuma-class destroyer and two patrol ships to monitor the Binzhou warship. Simultaneously, Japan also deployed two maritime patrol aircraft, Kawasaki P-1 and P-3 Orion. Nevertheless, according to satellite photographs released by a website monitoring naval traffic, Taiwan’s destroyers have teamed up with Japan to keep an eye on China’s frigate.
The Japanese destroyer was travelling behind the Binzhou, keeping a distance of 2km. On the other hand, Taiwan’s Kee Lung-class destroyer was sailing parallel to the Japanese destroyers, maintaining a 5km distance. A Taiwanese daily said it is the first time Japan and Taiwan carried out joint patrols to monitor China’s destroyer. However, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry refused to comment on the matter.
Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said the military is fully aware of the Chinese destroyer’s patrols near Keelung and other cities in Taiwan. ‘Taiwan will keep an eye on every Chinese patrol near our waters or airspace. We will also send warships and planes to respond to China’s aggressive patrols,” Defense Minister Chiu announced. However, the defence minister did not directly respond when asked about Taiwan’s collaboration with Japan to counter China’s aggression.
‘Such patrols will be conducted for national security whenever necessary. These should not be seen as a special collaboration with any country. It is not the right time to announce the name of that country,” said Defense Minister Chiu. Japan has also denied comment on the joint patrols with Taiwan. During his visit to the United States a few days ago, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Shuga had shocked China by raising the issue of Taiwan’s security. In the next few days, reports revealed joint patrols of the Japanese and Taiwanese destroyers.