The People’s Republic of China is doing that of the Biden administration.
Last week, after the PLA air force flew a fleet of 10+ bombers on a “practice strike” mission over the international waters of the South China Sea, the US sailed the USS Curtis Wilbur through the international Taiwan Strait. The PLA navy proceeded to track our destroyer on its transit.
Nor were the PRC’s government men happy about the transit. The PLA’s Eastern Theater Spokesperson, Air Force Colonel Zhang Chunhui:
The move artificially creates risk factors in the Taiwan Strait, deliberately undermines regional peace and stability, we are firmly opposed to this[.]
There’s nothing inherently risky in ships sailing international waters. Contra Zhang, the “risk factors” are those artificially created by the equally artificial angst projected by the PLA. That artificial nature is demonstrated by retired PLA colonel Yue Gang:
This is to show that the Chinese military is capable of countering and closely following what the US is doing, and that it is in control of the situation.
With the PLA claiming to be “in control,” it is demonstrating that it doesn’t believe there are any more artificial risk factors than there are with our naval ships peacefully sailing international waters.
The PRC’s conflicting messages are just part of its ongoing testing of the new Biden administration, as the PRC pushes Biden as it seeks to learn the degree of his understanding of the US-PRC relationship and to learn his limits and the point at which he’ll begin to back down.