Amid COVID-19 pandemic, China wages 'silent war' in international waters

New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: May 06, 2020, 10:36 PM IST

China had earlier commissioned a Soviet-built aircraft carrier in 2012. (Representative Image) Photograph:(DNA)

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China gave official names to islands in the South China Sea. Chinese authorities released standard names for 25 islands and reefs in the South China Sea in April 

China has been pushing its borders far out into international waters. The speed and scale of this military aggression is unprecedented.

There have been ten instances of how the Chinese regime is using the pandemic to wage a silent war. Encroachment of Indonesian fisheries is still happening with the first instance that was reported in January. An incursion by a Chinese coast guard vessel near the north Natuna islands. Indonesia had to beef up its naval defences.

The area is internationally recognised as part of Indonesia but China is infamous for violating the sovereignty of others. The result is Chinese incursions in Indonesian waters haven't stopped.

Also, the ramming a Taiwanese coast guard vessel which happened on March 16. At least ten Chinese speed boats entered Taiwan's territorial waters.

They attacked a patrol vessel which was clearing illegal Chinese fishing nets then targeting a Japanese naval ship that occurred in the East China Sea on March 30.

A Chinese fishing vessel collided and badly damaged a Japanese maritime destroyer. China said this was vessel was sailing in its waters and endangered its safety. 

The sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat near the Paracel Islands on April 2 was another example. The fishing boat sank after being hit by a Chinese coast guard vessel. A crew of eight on board the boat was captured and detained. China's excuse was the same - threat to its interests in the South China Sea.

Then the unwarranted drills in the Taiwan Strait. On April 11, Chinese fighter jets conducted drills just miles away from Taiwan. The reason was America's support for Taiwan's sovereignty. A US destroyer was transiting through Taiwan on this day. China deployed an aircraft carrier in the Miyako Strait which happened just two days later on April 13.

Miyako Strait is a strategic international waterway nobody can lay claim to this Strait. China deployed an aircraft carrier, two guided missile destroyers, two multi-role warships, and a fast combat support ship near the Strait.

China deployed an exploration vessel near Malaysia. On Apri 16, China sent a "survey ship" to the Malaysian exclusive economic zone. A "survey" activity inside Malaysian waters. 

It also stablished new districts in the South China Sea. It was first reported on April 19. China announced new administrative districts in the contested waterway which the Global Times said was for better management.

Expelling a US vessel conducting routine operations that happened last week. Beijing had accused Washington of taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic by aggressively intervening in the South China Sea.

And finally, it gave official names to islands in South China Sea. Chinese authorities released standard names for 25 islands and reefs in the South China Sea in April. The Global Times said that the standardization of names reflected China's sovereignty over these islands.