By Guo Yuandan
The picture shows the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG108).
On September 13, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) illegally sailed into China’s territorial waters off the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea under the name of so-called “freedom of navigation” for the second time in a half-month period.
Senior Colonel Li Huamin, spokesperson of the People's Liberation Army(PLA) Southern Theater Command, said that the aerial and maritime forces under the PLA Southern Theater Command has followed its track in monitoring, verification and identification and warned it to leave, as mandated by laws and regulations.
It seems that the US military likes to trigger some accidents in China when it comes to China’s major festivals. For example, on February 11 this year (the seventh day of the China’s New Year holidays), two US Navy warships, guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance(DDG111) and USS Preble(DDG 88), under the pretense of maintaining “freedom of navigation”, entered the 12 nautical miles of the Meiji Reef in the Nansha Islands without permission from the Chinese government. And in 2018, just one day before the Chinese National Day, the Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) intruded into the waters adjacent to the islands and reefs in the South China Sea.
It is obvious that the US military has the intentions of making trouble when China is celebrating a happy event at home. However, from another point of view, since the PLA used to keep especially high vigilance during holidays and festivals, it goes without saying that the US military as the most powerful army in the world becomes the best training partner of the PLA.
As an anonymous military expert told reporters on September 13 that the Chinese military would raise its level of combat readiness, including maritime patrols, surveillance, tracking and reconnaissance of suspicious targets whenever it comes to holidays or festivals. Whether the US warships come or not, the maritime combat vessels on duty are always fulfilling their duties to ensure maritime security.
On the one hand, the emergence of US warships can accompany the PLA naval officers and soldiers to "celebrate the holiday", so that life at sea will not be that "lonely". On the other hand, its emergence serves to enhance the level of actual combat for the PLA Navy, for instance, the ability to search, discover, identify, track, and monitor maritime targets, the expert noted.
It has also been proven that whichever direction does a US warship breaks into China's territorial waters, the Chinese Navy would be present to legally identify, verify, and warn it or them to leave.
The expert said that it seems coincidental that the US military likes to take actions during Chinese holidays; however, any military action taken has been planned in advance. The Art of War of Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese military strategist, has told us that among the policies in fighting, the best is “using strategy and tactics”, then “undermining alignment”, while “actual combat between two countries” or “invading a country” are considered as an unwise move. The US military’s deliberate actions only show that the US is becoming less and less confident.
Senior Colonel Li reiterated that China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands and its adjacent waters. No matter how provocative the foreign warships are, the fact remains unchanged. Forces attached to the PLA Southern Theater Command will faithfully carry out their duties and responsibilities, take all necessary measures, resolutely defend the sovereignty of the country, and resolutely safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.