January 24, 2021 19:22 | About us
Language: Tiếng Việt | ພາ​ສາ​ລາວ | ខ្មែរ | русский | 中文

China holds simultaneous exercises in South China Sea (Bien Dong Sea)

December 31, 2020 | 07:13

The PLA Navy is holding three 10-day exercises simultaneously after year of delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

china to launch new maritime law is it time to sue the power to ijc China to launch new maritime law: Is it time to sue the power to IJC?
south china sea bien dong sea battle of diplomatic notes and law abiding spirit South China Sea (Bien Dong Sea): battle of diplomatic notes and law-abiding spirit
us rejects china expelled its navy warship near truong sa US rejects China ‘expelled’ its Navy warship near Truong Sa
4725 ships
The Shandong aircraft carrier and China’s second Type 075 amphibious assault ship join the exercises. Photo: Thanh nien

Three 10-day military exercises are held simultaneously off the southern Chinese coast from December 29, according to notices posted by China’s maritime safety administrations.

According to three separate notices released on December 28 night, access to the waters surrounding Hainan – China’s southernmost province – in the South China Sea (called Bien Dong Sea in Vietnam) is restricted during the military training.

The exercises have been planned for more than a month and would be a major year-end drill to catch up with all the training and tests delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) insider told the South China Morning Post.

According to China’s defence ministry, the world’s largest armed force – with about 2.3 million personnel – has had zero confirmed cases of Covid-19.

But safety concerns over the pandemic prompted the PLA to put scheduled exercises on hold, delay its annual spring recruitment programme until August, and switch some training to classroom study of military theory.

5021 shandong
China's first home-grown aircraft carrier Shandong. Photo: Handout

The exercises come during a time of increased US aircraft patrols over the South China Sea. An unmanned MQ-4C surveillance aircraft flew over the East and South China Sea nine times in December, according to the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative.

The most recent observation of the high-altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle was earlier this week, flying near Fujian and Guangdong provinces in southern China, according to an image released by the SCSPI.

The US has also dispatched other aircraft, including B-1B bombers, to patrol the Yellow Sea and East China Sea during December, according to aircraft tracker Aircraft Spots. US planes were seen near Hainan as well as the Paracel and Spratly islands in the South China Sea.

In addition to the increased air activity, the US Navy last week sent a destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, near the Spratly Islands.

According to notices issued by the Chinese side, PLA has conducted at least 20 drills in the South China Sea so far this year, including nine in the Gulf of Tonkin, and five illegally carried out around Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago.

4858 soldier
A Vietnamese naval soldier on Da Lat Island, Truong Sa archipelago (Photo: VNA)

Earlier this month, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said Vietnam demands that China respect Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.

All activities without Vietnam’s permission at the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos violate Vietnam’s sovereignty and international law, thus having no legal validity, Hang said in reply to a reporter’s question regarding China’s recent moves in the waters.

She reiterated that Vietnam has full legal grounds and historical evidence testifying to its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa in accordance with international law, according to the Vietnam News Agency./.

us destroyer sails near the spratly islands

US destroyer sails near the Spratly Islands

Earlier this week, the US’ USS John McCain destroyer has sailed near the Spratly Islands of Truong Sa islands of Vietnam.

vessels with chinese flags chased away from vietnamese seas

Vessels with Chinese flags chased away from Vietnamese seas

Two fishing vessels sporting Chinese flags were chased away as they operated illegally in Vietnamese waters off the northern province of Thai Binh Monday.

south china sea 2020 from diplomatic note to the rule of law

South China Sea 2020 - From diplomatic note to the rule of law

The year 2020 has seen many countries become more outspoken about the Bien Dong Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea) through diplomatic notes ...