The Wall Street Journal’s Jacky Wong pretty much sums it up: “World War 3 during a pandemic wasn’t something I expected.”
World War 3 during a pandemic wasn’t something I expected https://t.co/DanPluaFlr
— Jacky Wong (@jackycwong) March 26, 2020
A US warship transited through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, angering Beijing as both countries are fighting wars of their own against COVID-19 and escalating the blame-game for exactly who is ultimately responsible for the spread of the deadly virus.
The US Pacific Fleet tweeted that the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS McCampbell (DDG 85), conducted operations through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday.
#USNavy Sailors stand watch aboard #USSMcCampbell as the forward-deployed @US7thFleet guided-missile destroyer transits the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday. #DDG85 #NavyReadiness pic.twitter.com/cejXv49hj3
— U.S. Pacific Fleet (@USPacificFleet) March 25, 2020
Taiwan’s armed forces said in a statement that the US warship sailed through the region on an “ordinary mission,” indicating that there was no need for alarm, reported Reuters.
The transit comes at a time when President Trump has repeatedly called COVID-19, the “Chinese virus,” as social distancing and mass quarantines have led to the collapse of not just China’s economy but a depression that will likely unfold in the US in the second quarter.
Anthony Junco, a spokesman for the US Seventh Fleet, said the USS McCampbell conducted “a routine Taiwan Strait transit on March 25 (local time) in accordance with international law.”
“The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows,” Junco said.
The cross-Strait relations between China and Taiwan could be heating up again. China slammed the US on Thursday for its latest stunt in the region.
Ren Guoqiang, the spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, said the “US’s recent actions concerning Taiwan, such as dispatching warships across the Taiwan Strait and passing of the TAIPEI Act, were tantamount to interference in China’s internal affairs and undermined cross-strait peace and stability.”
“The Chinese armed forces have firm will, full confidence and sufficient capability to thwart any form of separatist acts and will take all necessary measures to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Guoqiang said.
We noted back in November that if China’s economy were to crash for any reason, then the threat of war between China and Taiwan would increase.
So what happens next? China’s economy crashed, the world is swamped in a pandemic, Trump is increasingly calling COVID-19, the “Chinese flu,” is the next move military conflict?