Navy tests its ca­pa­bil­i­ties with E. China Sea drill

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By AN BAIJIE an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The Chi­nese Navy con­ducted a drill on Mon­day in the East China Sea that was in­tended to test “to the largest ex­tent” its com­bat abil­ity and equip­ment.

From the coastal city of Ningbo, in East China’s Zhe­jiang prov­ince, Xin­hua News Agency re­ported that the drill in­volved more than a hun­dred war­ships, squadrons of fighter jets, some land-based de­fense troops and radar, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and elec­tronic coun­ter­mea­sure forces.

The Dong­hai (East China Sea) Fleet, as well as some forces from the Bei­hai (North China Sea) and Nan­hai (South China Sea) fleets, par­tic­i­pated in the Navy’s 11th an­nual mil­i­tary ex­er­cises, led by Admiral Wu Shengli, com­man­der of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army Navy.

Shen Yu, di­rec­tor of the Dong­hai Fleet train­ing de­part­ment, told Xin­hua that the ex­er­cises tested var­i­ous mis­siles and mul­ti­ple-di­rec­tion op­er­a­tions.

The war­ships suc­cess­fully con­ducted sev­eral mis­sile-in­ter­cep­tion op­er­a­tions, Xin­hua re­ported.

Chen Shengqi, head of the drill’s team of ap­prais­ing ex­perts, was quoted as say­ing that the war­ships had han­dled air, un­der­wa­ter and sur­face threats that closely re­sem­bled real com­bat.

The Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army marked its 89th anniversary on Mon­day, which was also Army Day.

The ex­er­cises were the lat­est in a se­ries of drills con­ducted amid ris­ing mar­itime ten­sions. In July, the Navy held two South China Sea drills.

A num­ber of ad­di­tional ex­er­cises are planned as the coun­try picks up the pace of its mil­i­tary re­form, char­ac­ter­ized by a his­toric shift in the PLA’s or­ga­ni­za­tion and struc­ture to gain a more ef­fi­cient com­mand sys­tem.

Peng Guangqian, deputy sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the China Coun­cil for Na­tional Security Pol­icy Stud­ies, said that in com­bi­na­tion with the rapid devel­op­ment of China’s mil­i­tary equip­ment and weapons, it is nat­u­ral that the num­ber of mil­i­tary ex­er­cises has in­creased.

The mar­itime chal­lenges China faces are in­creas­ing, as well, mak­ing it nec­es­sary for the Navy to raise its abil­ity to cope with the threats, Peng said.

Ad­di­tion­ally, China’s re­la­tion­ship with Ja­pan re­mains tense over the Diaoyu Is­lands and that the main­land’s ties with Tai­wan have soured since the is­land’s new leader took of­fice in May, he said.

DAI ZONGFENG / FOR CHINA DAILY

The mis­sile destroyer Ji­nan of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army Navy fires an anti-ship mis­sile dur­ing a mil­i­tary drill held in the East China Sea on Mon­day.

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