The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) navy has begun a massive exercise in the western Pacific that is widely seen as a response to the recently completed U.S.-Japan-South Korean joint naval drills led by the aircraft carrier USS George Washington near the Korean Peninsula.
Code-named “Mobile Operation No. 5,” the Chinese flotilla set sail Oct. 18 to an area that is expected to stretch beyond the Ryukyu !slands between Japan and Taiwan. The maneuvers will continue through early November.
The maneuvers’ announced objective is a “deep ocean exercise of realistic live-fire confrontations,” which state-controlled media interpreted to mean a scenario of an engagement with the U.S. Navy.
“The PLA is now dispatching up to one hundred warships to conduct large-scale exercises … to confront the U.S. carrier-based fleet face to face and get ready for