'Taiwan is Part of China,' Says Chinese Navy Warship During Encounter With Taiwanese Vessel

A video posted to TikTok has apparently captured a radio exchange between Taiwanese and Chinese warships, with the latter asserting "Taiwan is part of China" and "has no navy."

The rarely heard conversation played out on the maritime distress frequency 156.8 MHz, according to the island's radio scanner listeners. The footage dated March 21 was captured by a Chinese merchant sailor and shared online nine days later.

In the 30-second video, Republic of China Navy warship ROCS Chi Kuang (PFG2-1105) can be heard hailing Shuozhou (610), a surface vessel with the People's Liberation Army Navy's East Sea Fleet, which operates in the East China Sea.

A radio operator on Taiwan's Cheng Kung-class guided-missile frigate is heard saying: "Shuozhou, Shuozhou, this is navy warship 1105. Over."

She adds: "Shuozhou, please break off approach towards our 24-nautical-mile line. Please move away immediately."

The reply from China's Type 056A Jiangdao-class corvette, which comes from a male voice who does not disclose a pennant number, says: "Taiwan area ship 1105, Taiwan is part of China; the Taiwan area has no navy."

"My navigation here is in accordance with Chinese law. Out," he adds.

The exchange appears to have occurred in the seas north of Taiwan, outside the island's contiguous zone. It is unclear whether the Chinese PLA made further movements toward Taiwan's coastline.

User S.Lolo shared the clip to Douyin—the original version of TikTok released for the Chinese-speaking market—on March 30. He did not respond to Newsweek's request for comment before publication.

Taiwan military observers who have been monitoring the airwaves for near-daily PLA Air Force incursions into the island's air defense identification zone have described the radio exchange as another facet of Beijing's "gray-zone" warfare against Taipei, which includes intimidating or threatening actions short of war.

Other littoral nations, such as neighboring Japan, have also raised concerns about China's maritime operation in recent months, especially since the introduction of its new coast guard law in February.

Tokyo's Jiji Press said two Chinese coast guard vessels entered the waters off the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands on Tuesday and attempted to pursue Japanese fishing boats before the Japan Coast Guard expelled them.

Following what was the 13th such intrusion in this year, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato called the move by China's maritime police "absolutely unacceptable," the press agency said.

Last week, the Philippine foreign ministry issued a warning to Beijing and called for the withdrawal of some 200 "maritime militia" vessels—armed fishing boats—from the vicinity of Whitsun Reed, which Manila claims as Julian Felipe Reef.

China claimed the boats, which were neatly lined up when they were photographed in satellite images and by the Philippine government in March, were sheltering from "rough sea conditions."

Manila is also investigating a separate incident after a local news crew said their boat was pursued by two Chinese navy missile ships.

Taiwan Navy Ship Conducts Sea Drills
A Lafayette-class frigate of the Taiwanese navy takes part in an exercise in waters off the southern naval base of Tsoying on July 21, 2014. Mandy CHENG/AFP via Getty Images