China war drills focus on ‘seizing islands’

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BEIJING: China and Russia started war games in the South China Sea on Monday, Beijing’s defense ministry said, in a show of force after an international tribunal invalidated the Asian giant’s extensive claims in the area.

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The eight-day joint exercises will include a focus on “seizing and controlling” islands and shoals, Chinese navy spokesman Liang Yang said in a statement.

They will involve surface ships, submarines, fixed-wing aircraft, ship-borne helicopters, marine corps and amphibious armored equipment from both navies, he said.

“Compared with previous joint drills, these exercises are deeper and more extensive in terms of organization, tasks and command,” he said in the statement.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea and has sought to bolster its case by building a series of artificial islands capable of supporting military facilities.

But a UN-backed tribunal ruled in July that any extensive claims to the sea had no legal basis and that China’s construction of artificial islands in disputed waters was illegal.

Beijing reacted furiously, with foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang threatening a “decisive response” if anyone took “any provocative action against China’s security interests based on the award.”

Beijing’s land reclamations have prompted criticism from other claimant countries and the US, and Washington has regularly sent warships into the strategically vital area to assert the right to freedom of navigation.

This week’s drills will be carried out off the coast of Zhanjiang city in the southern province of Guangdong.
Their precise location was not announced, but they do not appear to be taking place in disputed parts of the sea.

They were aimed at “strengthening the capabilities of the Chinese and Russian Navies in jointly handling security threats on the sea,” navy spokesman Liang said.

China and Russia have close military and diplomatic ties, often in opposition to the West, particularly the United States, and their leaders Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin enjoy a tight relationship.

Last August, the two powers held military exercises in the waters and airspace of the Peter the Great Gulf, south of the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok, involving 22 vessels, up to 20 aircraft and more than 500 marines.

In May last year, they conducted their first joint naval exercises in European waters in the Black Sea and Mediterranean, China’s farthest-ever drills from its home waters.

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5 Comments

  1. Mag-isa na ngayon si Kano sa South China Sea.
    Tingnan natin ang kanyang pinagmamalaking “tapang”.
    Kasama na ang mga Russo sa pagpapatrolya ng karagatan doon.

  2. PROC needs raw materials like metallic ores and industrial minerals that RP has for example : gold, nickel, silver, copper, platinum, and lead, not to forget gemstones, quarry products as simple as sand and gravel. Any mining company that produces ore for PROC and violates DENR regulations and get closed will be a big headache for the PROC companies . . . . . . Agricultural products too. The PROC mango eaters can make a big stink if their mango and banana supplies from RP dry up. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . So the RP Wonder Woman and Superman (pivotal and vital ministries against PROC) are DENR Sec Gina Lopez and DepAgri Sec Manuel Pinol. Who woulda thunk . . . . Ah yes . . .Those two Chinese “investors” did not speak for the PROC National Peoples Congress who by the way decides the directions that Li and Xi (Ma lik si) go or take in behalf of the PROC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Canadian Circle for Asian Issues . . . .

  3. Independent foreign policy means Phils. foreign policy will not be dictated by a foreign country and will do what is only good for the Phils. as simple as that.

  4. I think President DU30 should show his leadership by making pronouncement that the military drill between them and Russia is not in the interest of peace and security of south china sea. The drill shows China disrespect of the PCA an international body ruling that the nine dash line is illegal.

  5. So what if China war drills focus on ‘seizing islands?’ We are proud to say that we are on an independent foreign policy now. ‘Kayabangan’ will make us heroes.