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Tensions in the East Sea (South China Sea)

China's simultaneous drills in 3 Asia seas while threatening that "Beijing has many anti-aircraft carrier weapons"

10:54 | 06/07/2020

China's Global Times reported that the East Sea (South China Sea) is entirely within the reach of the Chinese military and that Beijing possesses multiple missiles enabling to destroy aircraft carriers, right after the information of US sending the carrier to the area.

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global times perversely declares east sea south china sea fully within the grasp of chinese army Global Times perversely declares East Sea (South China Sea) “fully within the grasp” of Chinese army
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China is continuously implementing military exercises on 3 Asian waters amid its domestic covid-19 pandemic, crisis in the relation with India and massive flooding in the southern areas, what message does China want to send?

chinas simultaneous drills in 3 asia seas while threatening that beijing has many anti aircraft carrier weapons
The Global Times page published an article warning the US of Beijing's anti-aircraft carrier weapons. Below the headline is a picture of a Chinese warship firing at simulated targets during an exercise in the East Sea in March 2020 - Screenshot

Immediately after the news that the US sent two aircraft carriers to the East Sea (South China Sea) for military exercises at the same time of Chinese drills, the China's Global Times on July 4 afternoon published an article citing "unknown expert"'s warning: "China has a wide selection of anti-aircraft weapons in the South China Sea (actually Vietnam's East Sea)."

The article mentions that the East Sea (called as South China Sea) is completely within the reach of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). Any operation of US aircraft carriers in the region is only at the will of the PLA. The Chinese military has a lot of anti-aircraft carrier weapons to choose from as DF-21D and DF-26 called as 'anti-aircraft killers' - Global Times quoted unknown-name "analysts".

China conducted military exercises in the South and East China Sea, as well as in the Yellow Sea last week, to show off its "muscles" amid growing tensions with the United States.

Accordingly, a missile destroyer and two helicopters simulated the scenario of capturing unauthorized ships in the East China Sea. The Chinese military has also conducted live-fire exercises in the Yellow Sea and the East Sea (South China Sea).

Chinese state-run media unruly referred to these three waters conducting a series of drills as "three main battle zones," including illegal exercises in the East Sea (South China Sea) that took place in Vietnam's Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands.

The Nikkei Asian Review said that China's large-scale exercises are not only intended to send a powerful message to the outside world, but also to distract from concerns about domestic difficult problems within the country.

chinas simultaneous drills in 3 asia seas while threatening that beijing has many anti aircraft carrier weapons
Chinese military aircraft in the East Sea (South China Sea). (Photo: Xinhua News Agency)

Meanwhile, the US Navy is conducting large-scale exercises in the East Sea (South China Sea) when it sent two groups of aircraft carriers of USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan to the sea. In addition, a B-52 strategic bomber was dispatched from the United States to participate in the exercise.

It is rare for both China and the United States to conduct military exercises in the same area, adding to tensions between the two countries at the sea.

"China is increasingly concerned about rising tensions with countries like the US and India," a Chinese military source told the Nikkei Asian Review.

China's top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi visited a US military base in Hawaii last month, and met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. However, the meeting did not seem to make any progress in improving bilateral relations.

Tensions have escalated since China enacted a controversial national security law on Hong Kong. The US Senate unanimously passed a bill that would allow Washington to punish Chinese officials and financial institutions undermining Hong Kong's autonomy.

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the ruling Japanese coalition party, also drafted a resolution on July 3, asking Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government to cancel President Xi Jinping's state visit. Earlier, the visit was postponed due to COVID-19 epidemic.

Beijing has stepped up maritime operations since March, when the COVID-19 epidemic in the country gradually became under control. Two Chinese Coast Guard vessels were present for about 37 hours in the Japanese territorial waters around Senkakus this weekend.

chinas simultaneous drills in 3 asia seas while threatening that beijing has many anti aircraft carrier weapons
HangYang Guard Ship (right) and Wuhan destroyer (left) in the East Sea (South China Sea) on June 18. Photo: PLA

In addition, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs' officials have also escalated in the verbal wars against Australia and Canada.

It is says that China activates moves to repel other countries, thereby increasing domination, giving Beijing an edge, Nikkei Asian Review quoted a diplomatic source in Beijing.

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