Tue, 15 Jun 2021

Taipei [Taiwan], May 17 (ANI): Taiwan can play a significant role in preserving US Marine Corps operational mobility in the case of a conflict with China, a Taiwanese analyst said.

Taipei-based Institute for National Defense and Security Research (INDSR) cybersecurity researcher Hsieh Pei-hsueh wrote an article in the think tank's biweekly report that the US hopes to transform its forward bases into a more comprehensive network with the use of amphibious assault ships, barges, and even floating platforms to strengthen its ground and air forces, Taiwan News reported.

His remarks come as tensions in the Indo-Pacific escalate. Hsieh pointed out that in response to the increasing threat posed by China in the Indo-Pacific region, senior U.S. Marines officials believe the force must develop its capability to carry out long-range precision strike capabilities and expeditionary advanced base operations.

Indo-Pacific region is largely viewed as an area comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.

China's territorial claims in the South China Sea and its efforts to advance into the Indian Ocean are seen to have challenged the established rules-based system.

It claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea and has overlapping territorial claims with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.

China has been increasing its maritime activities in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea over the past few months, partly in response to Beijing's concerns over the increasing US military presence in the region because of escalating Sino-US tensions.

Hsieh remarks also come in the backdrop of escalating tensions between China and Taiwan.

The analyst mentioned that Taiwan's new 10,000-tonne amphibious dock transport ship the Yushan can strengthen the nation's ability to transport troops and support its amphibious operations.

Hsieh said that in the early stage of a conflict when Chinese forces have not yet entered Taiwan's eastern waters, an amphibious combat fleet headed by the Yushan can first be docked at Yilan or an American Marine force can be stationed in the area on standby.

Beijing also claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades. (ANI)

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