|India, Japan, Australia to boost supply chain security by reducing dependency on China|
|Thousands of Japanese enterprises consider expanding production in Vietnam|
|Japan supports Vietnam Coast Guard to build six patrol vessels|
|Chinese-held Subi Reef, a man-made island in the Spratly chain in the disputed South China Sea, is seen in April 2017. (Photo: Reuters)|
US military authorities say China launched four ballistic missiles, which fell between Hainan Island and the Paracel Islands toward the Bien Dong Sea (or South China Sea internationally known).
The move came a day after a U.S. spy plane reportedly entered a no-fly zone without permission during a Chinese live-fire naval drill off its north coast. They also came as the U.S. neared the end of its annual RIMPAC military drills in Hawaii, the world’s largest maritime exercise with 10 navies represented from regional allies and partners, including Japan.
The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post quoted a source close to the Chinese military as saying that in the mentioned drill, Beijing had launched a carrier-killer anti-ship weapon.
Japan's NHK News commented that both the US and China have recently stepped up their military activities. Chinese authorities are holding military exercises in the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, and the East and South China seas from late August while the US military has also been conducting drills in the South China Sea since Monday.
|China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy soldiers patrol at Woody Island in the Paracel chain of the South China Sea in January 2016. (Photo: Reuters)|
Japan's view as China accelerating military actions
Japan has been watching China's recent moves in the Bien Dong Sea "with concern," a government spokesman said Thursday after Beijing was reported to have fired ballistic missiles into the waters the previous day.
According to the Japan National Daily News agency Mainichi, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference, when asked about media reports on the missile tests:
"Our country is strongly opposed to whatever act that heightens tensions in the South China Sea. Issues surrounding the South China Sea are directly linked to the peace and stability of the region, a matter of legitimate interest of the international community including our country."
The Chinese state-run Global Times newspaper alluded to the missiles in a report late Wednesday. It said that a DF-26B, which has a range of 4,000 km (2,485 miles) and can be used in nuclear or conventional strikes against ground and naval targets, and a DF-21D, which can travel about 1,800 km and has been described as the “world’s first anti-ship ballistic missile,” may have been launched from the mainland.
The weapons are also worrisome for Tokyo, since “a growing number” of the Chinese missiles put U.S. bases in Japan in range, the Pentagon has said. Indeed, the U.S. military has said approximately 95 percent of the missiles in the Chinese arsenal fall in the 500 to 5,500-km range — meaning key U.S. facilities throughout Japan could already be within the range of thousands of difficult-to-defeat advanced ballistic and cruise missiles.
|Warships and fighter jets of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy take part in a military display in the South China Sea in April 2018. (Photo: Reuters)|
China's recent military exercises: Retaliation towards the US
In an article analyzing China's move published on August 27, The Japan Times stated that experts said Beijing had likely timed the launches as a response to increasing U.S. pressure on China — and to highlight its growing anti-access and area-denial capabilities to prevent the U.S. and others militaries from intervening in its immediate areas of concern.
According to The Japan Times, the launches on Wednesday came as Washington blacklisted 24 Chinese companies and targeted individuals it said were part of construction and military activities in the Bien Dong Sea — the first such sanctions against Beijing over the strategic waterway and a dramatic escalation of the U.S. offensive against China’s actions there.
The U.S. decision to slap the 24 Chinese companies with trade and visa restrictions came over their efforts to help Beijing “reclaim and militarize disputed outposts” in the South China Sea, the U.S. Commerce Department said in a statement.
The department noted this included units of the state-owned China Communications Construction Co., which plays a large role in projects under Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road initiative.
Washington has targeted Beijing over its assertiveness in the waterway, including the construction of man-made islands, some of which are home to military-grade airfields and advanced weaponry. The U.S. military has angered Beijing by regularly holding drills and conducting “freedom of navigation operations” close to and over some of the islands China occupies there, including its man-made islets. Self-Defense Force vessels and aircraft have occasionally joined in the joint exercises there.
|Chinese military warns the United States’ by firing ‘aircraft-carrier killer’ missile into South China Sea |
China launched two missiles, including an “aircraft-carrier killer”, into the South China Sea (called Bien Dong Sea in Vietnam) on Wednesday morning, a source ...
|Experts concern as China continuously carries out military exercises |
The fact that China has continuously practiced military exercises in the sea in recent days raising concerns about the rise of nationalism in this country, ...
|US adds Chinese companies to Entity List for helping build military islands in South China Sea (Bien Dong Sea) |
The US Department of Commerce said the two dozen companies played a “role in helping the Chinese military construct and militarize the internationally condemned artificial ...