According to the Taipei Times, China is planning to impose an “underwater denial zone” in the Taiwan Strait area to obstruct submarine activity. This move has prompted military experts to advise Taiwan to improve its maritime surveillance capabilities to assist its marine economy, lend support to like-minded allies, and boost its defense.
Taiwan Needs to Invest More in Surveying its Surrounding Waters
Institute of National Defense and Security Research fellow Su Tzu-yun has urged Taiwan to invest more in surveying its surrounding waters. He noted that Taiwan has not invested enough into surveying its surrounding waters, which has made it more vulnerable to threats from China. If Taiwan improves its maritime surveillance capabilities, it could also assist strategic cooperation with like-minded partners.
Chinese People’s Liberation Army Conducts Five Incursions in Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone
Between April 16 and April 23, the Ministry of National Defense detected five incursions by Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Harbin Z-9 anti-submarine helicopters in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. These helicopters were found southeast of the nation on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, then on Saturday and Sunday operated further north above the waters east of Hualien County.
The Complex Oceanic Terrain Off Taiwan’s East Coast is a Hotspot for Surveillance Conducted by PLA Anti-Submarine Aircraft
Institute of National Defense and Security Research fellow Su Tzu-yun has noted that the oceanic terrain off Taiwan’s east coast is complex, composed of ridges, trenches, and basins, making it a hotspot for surveillance conducted by PLA anti-submarine aircraft. The information found on these missions would be valuable for PLA submarines to predict the movements of Taiwanese submarines.
Why Has the PLA Been Ramping up Helicopter Activity in the Area?
Asked why the PLA has been ramping up helicopter activity, Su said it might be related to naval training, as sea conditions are optimal in mid-to-late April. It could also be an acceleration of operations east of Taiwan, as the PLA might be aiming to turn the waters to the east and southwest into “underwater denial zones.” The experience of the operating frigates could also be used as a reference for larger amphibious ships in advance assessments for transport and attack helicopter missions.
Data Could be Useful Not Just for Military Purposes, but also for the Marine Economy and Fishing Industry
The data collected from these missions could be useful not just for military purposes but also for the marine economy and fishing industry.
The tension between China and Taiwan has escalated in recent years, with China using various tactics to intimidate Taiwan. It is crucial for Taiwan to invest more in its maritime surveillance capabilities to protect its interests and lend support to like-minded allies.
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