China Continues Military Drills In South China Sea Region

The Chinese army has launched two sets of military drills in waters off the country’s east coast as tensions continue to rise in the South China Sea amid US military presence in the region.

Shanghai-based military expert Ni Lexiong was quoted as saying by South China Morning Post that the drills in the Bohai and Yellow seas had the practical purpose of simulating both wartime attack and defence, should there be a conflict to unify Taiwan by force.

“Different scenarios, with a strong enemy or a weak enemy, need to be practised in drills,” Ni said.

Terming the recent drills as “routine training”, Diao Daming, an associate professor at Renmin University’s National Academy of Development and Strategy, told state broadcaster China Central Television that “the exercises were meant to boost public confidence and intimidate the US and Taiwan.”

“Although these drills do not target any specific country, in the face of power that is challenging our sovereignty and security, such drills can make the enemy yield without use of arms,” Diao said.

Meanwhile, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper and Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono on Saturday reiterated their commitment to maintain a ‘rules-based order’ in the East and South China Seas.

US Department of Defence, Esper hosted Kono in Guam, where they reaffirmed the strength of the US-Japan alliance and discussed ways to deepen and expand bilateral defence cooperation.

“Secretary Esper and Minister Kono exchanged views on their shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The Secretary expressed serious concern regarding Beijing’s decision to impose a national security law in Hong Kong, as well as coercive and destabilising actions vis-a-vis Taiwan,” the official statement said.

“Both ministers restated their commitment to maintain a rules-based order in the East and South China Seas, and more broadly in the region and world,” it stated.

The statement comes even as China continues to conduct military activities in the South China Sea region.

On Wednesday, China fired two missiles including an “aircraft-carrier killer” into the South China Sea as an act of “warning” to the United States after a US spy plane allegedly intruded into its army’s no-fly airspace, a source close to the Chinese military told the South China Morning Post.

This military exercise is the latest in a long string of China’s actions to assert unlawful maritime claims and disadvantage its Southeast Asian neighbours in the South China Sea, according to the US Defence Department. (ANI)

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