The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will set up a navigation restriction zone in the South China Sea to conduct military exercises between Friday and Tuesday, according to reports from a Beijing-based newspaper aligned with the Communist Party of China. . The exclusion zone is believed to extend from the waters around Hainan Island to the Xisha Islands.
It is believed that Rocket Force ballistic missiles and anti-ship missiles could be deployed during this year’s exercise.
A military expert told the Global Times that the PLA intends to launch a joint operation featuring multiple wings of the military.
Song Zhongping said, “These exercises have already become routine near Chinese waters, with the aim of honing the PLA’s abilities to fight and win wars in realistic combat scenarios.
“China organizes military exercises, it’s like preparing a shotgun and fighting back against wolves,” he would have added.
China carried out similar exercises last year when the PLA reportedly even deployed its “plane killer” anti-ship ballistic missiles.
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U.S. media have suggested that Beijing launched four medium-range ballistic missiles into the South China Sea during their August 2020 exercises.
However, a spokesperson for the Beijing Defense Ministry said they were routine exercises and no country was targeted.
Earlier this week, the United States launched its own naval and amphibious military exercises.
U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripes has claimed Washington will conduct its largest military training exercises in nearly 40 years as tensions with Moscow and Beijing continue to mount.
U.S. ships will be spread across 17 different time zones while their sailors and marines perform the exercise.
US exercises are expected to continue until August 16.
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US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called on China to stop its “provocative” behavior in the region and expressed “serious concerns about ongoing human rights violations in Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang.”
His department added: “The secretary also expressed his deep concern over the rapid growth of the PRC’s nuclear arsenal, which highlights how Beijing has strayed sharply from its many-year-old nuclear strategy. decades based on minimal deterrence.
A British £ 3 billion aircraft carrier joined ships from other countries in the South China Sea this week.
On Monday, HMS Queen Elizabeth crossed the region to conduct freedom of navigation patrols alongside U.S. and Japanese personnel.
India, which has already been engaged in skirmishes with the PLA on its shared land border, has reportedly sent four warships to the South China Sea over the next two months.