Thursday, May 10, 2012

Taiwan monitors Chinese naval moves

The five PLAN vessels, as seen by a Japanese P-3C
Five PLA ships are conducting drills east of Taiwan, a show of force that is unlikely to go unnoticed in both Taiwan and the Philippines 

The Ministry of National Defense is paying close attention to ongoing maneuvers southeast of Taiwan by a fleet of Chinese navy vessels that includes one of the heaviest combat ships in the People’s Liberation Army Navy. 

According to Japanese media, the Japan Self-Defense Forces first spotted the group of five Chinese vessels 650km southwest of Okinawa on Sunday.

The five vessels from the Chinese navy’s South Sea Fleet — Type 052B destroyers Guangzhou and Wuhan; Type 054A frigates Yulin and Chaohu; and Type 071 landing platform dock (LPD) Kunlun Shan — left from Hainan Island and reportedly entered the Taiwan Strait before making a right turn about 180km off Taiwan. At 18,000 tonnes, the Kunlun Shan is one of the largest combat vessels in the Chinese navy. 

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

1 comment:

Michael Fagan said...

I find I am yet again in complete agreement with Wang Jyh-perng (王志鵬). Those diesel-electric subs could also allow Taiwan to overcome the range and punch limitations of land-based cruise missiles; having a few SSGs loitering silently in China's littoral waters could make a big difference.

Unless I am mistaken, the PLAN's ASW capabilities remain limited to their own subs, a few whirlybirds, acoustic hydrophones and sonar. If Taiwan's Navy were to deploy those German type 214s, then they might well go undetected snooping along the underside of the Chinese coast for a month or so at a time. Launch a few cruise missiles from those and it's bye-bye Shanghai: they won't have time to react.