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After assembling a revamped arsenal of new ships, subs, planes, and missiles, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is showing that they can use all those assets together, in an operation far from its shores. This display of improved military capabilities have occurred in conjunction with messages to the U.S. indicating a more aggressive approach from Beijing on China’s claims over disputed waters of the South China Seas. The United States must respond to this emerging challenge with a responsible approach that keeps tensions low while sending a clear message to Beijing that the U.S. will not accept China’s efforts to unilaterally control Southeast Asia’s maritime commons.
The South China Morning Post recently reported that destroyers, frigates, and auxiliary ships from the North Sea Fleet (based in Qingdao) passed through the Bashi Strait between the Philippines and Taiwan to conduct a major “confrontation exercise” in the South China Sea. A few days later, Sovremenny guided missile destroyers, frigates, and submarines from the East Sea Fleet (based in Ningbo) passed through Japan’s Miyako Strait without warning Tokyo and conducted anti-submarine warfare exercises in the Pacific waters southeast of Japan. There have also been reports of naval aviators from several bases in the Nanjing and Guangzhou military regions conducting long-range exercises that incorporated radar jamming, night flying, mid-air refueling, and simulated bombing runs in the South China Sea.
These exercises are also notable for their location and their timing. By transiting the Miyako Strait and operating in highly contested waters, China is sending a signal to the region that it is developing the ability to back up its territorial sea claims with more than just rhetoric. These exercises were conducted a few weeks after Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and NSC Senior Director for Asia Jeff Bader visited Beijing. As reported by the New York Times, they were told that the South China Sea is a “core interest” for the PRC. This is an important phrase for Beijing – it raises the South China Sea to the same level of significance as Taiwan and Tibet – and suggests a newly aggressive and provocative approach.
China’s claims of sovereignty over the South China Sea, if left unchallenged, would make Beijing the arbiter of all international maritime traffic that passes through, which the U.S. cannot allow. As we can see from the U.S. Defense Department’s annual reports to Congress on the Chinese military (pdf), China has been developing these capabilities for some time, and there is no sign that its ambitions have yet been satisfied.
40 to 60 million missing women.
Originally posted by GeneralRipper
Reminds me of a thread a week ago with a guy saying China would invade the US. But everybody argued that China did not have the naval capacity to do so.
Now don't get me wrong, I still don't think china is capable of invading the US, but this shows they aren't pushovers either.