“Sink an American aircraft carrier”

Chinese state television on March 30 broadcast footage of day and night exercises conducted by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) along the coasts of the East and South China Seas which, according to Chinese analysts from defense, responded to the increasing activity of the United States Navy in the region.

A PLA Navy flotilla led by Type 052D destroyer Zibo and Type 054A frigate Yang Zhou conducted a two-day live-fire exercise in the East China Sea in March, the TV reported. public CCTV.

The drills included underwater reconnaissance, air defense and ship-to-ship strikes, CCTV said. Chinese naval forces can be seen in the video clips shooting down incoming torpedoes and launching ship-to-air jamming bombs and anti-ship missiles to make precision strikes.

Chinese defense experts say the PLA Navy and Air Force have improved military drills with special emphasis on the time between midnight and dawn due to the increase in US reconnaissance and other military activities in the region.

Zhou Chenming, a researcher at the Yuan Wang military science and technology think tank in Beijing, said the new training schedules cater to the activities of US aircraft and warships, which still take place between midnight and 2 a.m. .

China Rocket Sea-Launch via China Daily

“The PLA is now focusing on training in the East and South China Seas, as US planes are still flying from bases in South Korea and Japan, as well as the Philippines and other bases, to travel to coastal areas of China for closer reconnaissance,” he said.

“The Chinese military has come up with a series of countermeasures to deal with its American counterparts, while the US Navy is steadily increasing so-called freedom of navigation operations.”

According to the Beijing-based South China Sea Strategic Situation Survey Initiative, the United States has conducted approximately 1,200 sorties of maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft for intelligence-gathering missions in the South China Sea. Last year.

There was another day and night exercise off the coast of Guangdong near Hainan Island, involving a Type 071 amphibious transport dock in which Chinese Marines drove several ZBD amphibious infantry fighting vehicles. -05 and ZTD-05 amphibious assault vehicles to land on the island at night, CCTV noted.

According to Lu Li-shih, a former instructor at the Taiwan Naval Academy, the PLA Navy conducted about 100 night drills in the Yellow, East and South China Seas, including 70 between midnight and dawn, compared to 30. night exercises in 2020 with 11 between midnight and dawn.

File Image: China’s Type 094A Jin-class ballistic missile submarine.

In addition to military drills, China has also increased coastguard patrols and the use of its maritime militia for coercive activities in disputed waters in the South China Sea (SCS). Last year, China passed a law authorizing the coast guard to use “all necessary means” to enforce Chinese maritime claims.

In early March, Vietnam accused China of violating its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) during military exercises that took place between Hainan Province and Vietnam from March 4 to 15.

“Vietnam has asked China not to violate its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf with military exercises,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Thi Thu Hang told a press briefing. to journalists.

In November 2021, China fired high-pressure water cannons on a civilian ship supplying a Filipino troop on Second Thomas Shoal. Two months later, the Philippine defense chief signed an 18.9 billion peso ($378 million) deal with India to buy the army’s first land-based anti-ship missile system which, according to him, would be used to defend the sovereignty of the country, especially in disputed areas. South China Sea.

Manila is reportedly working on a plan to deploy Coast Guard vessels to Thitu Island in the Spratlys.

File Image: Chinese Navy Warship

“As the fastest supersonic cruise missiles in the world, the BrahMos missiles will deter any attempt to undermine our sovereignty and sovereign rights, especially in the Western Philippine Sea,” Lorenzana said, using the name Filipino for disputed waters. The missile firepower will “provide counterattack capabilities in the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines”, he said.

Additionally, the Philippines and the United States are currently undertaking the largest joint military exercises ever which began on March 28 and will last 12 days with thousands of personnel from both countries taking part in exercises that will cover maritime security, amphibious operation, live-fire training, counter-terrorism and humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief.

On the eve of the joint drills, the Philippine Coast Guard accused its Chinese counterpart of steering one of its vessels within yards of a Philippine patrol vessel near the disputed Scarborough Shoal.

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