China’s active main battle warships to join exercises in South China Sea

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Yao Jianing
2016-07-06 17:17

BEIJING, July 6 (ChinaMil) -- China started its military drills in South China Sea on July 5, according to a notice issued by the maritime authority. Analysis believed that the annual regular exercises intend to improve the defense capabilities of the PLA Navy.

The Sanya Maritime Safety Administration issued a warning on July 3, prohibiting navigation on the South China Sea, as a military drill will be held from July 5-11.

As the date of the drill is close to July 12, the day on which the so-called final ruling of the South China Sea Arbitration will be announced on the sovereignty over the South China Sea, some foreign media said that China begins to flex its muscles before the ruling, or China claims its sovereignty over the South China Sea through military drills.

It is both reasonable and legitimate for Chinese armed forces to conduct exercises and training at home, Zhang Junshe, a senior researcher with the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, told China News Service on July 5.

The drill in the South China Sea is a regular one conducted by the Chinese Navy in accordance with its annual training plan, said China’s Ministry of National Defense, refuting foreign media reports.

Zhang Junshe pointed out that the PLA Navy often conducts exercises and training in this sea area, and it's no exception this time. Unlike the U.S., which travelled all the way to the South China Sea to incite tensions in the region, China is to conduct a normal military exercise in its own territory with no specified target.

Judging from previous exercises, all the PLA Navy's active warships and equipment will take part in the drills this time and the drills will cover training subjects including anti-ship, air defense, antisubmarine and maritime interception training.

Those exercise subjects are the ones that will be carried out by navies from any other countries, said Zhang Junshe.

Zhang Junshe stressed that the PLA Navy strengthens its realistic training so as to better accomplish missions, improve defense capability and increase the ability to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In the meantime, the military drills will serve as a necessary deterrence to those who attempt to infringe on China's sovereignty and security.

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