News / Asia

China Defends Naval Drills in Western Pacific

Chinese naval personnel stand at attention on the deck of the People's Liberation Army Navy's guided missile frigate FFG Zhoushan (file photo)
Chinese naval personnel stand at attention on the deck of the People's Liberation Army Navy's guided missile frigate FFG Zhoushan (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +

Chinese state media say a planned naval exercise that is causing concern in Japan is not related to recent maritime tensions in the Pacific region.

Japan's defense ministry reported Wednesday that six Chinese naval vessels have crossed between two of its islands into the western Pacific Ocean. The NHK television network said one of the vessels was an intelligence-gathering ship.

China's defense ministry announced hours later that it is planning a naval training exercise in the western Pacific. It said the drill will adhere to relevant international laws and practice and is not directed against any particular country.

The exercise comes amid China's increasingly assertive maritime claims in the South and East China Seas, and just a week after U.S. President Barack Obama announced plans to station U.S. Marines in northern Australia

But China's Global Times newspaper, which is affiliated with the ruling Communist Party, quoted experts Thursday as saying the exercise has been scheduled for many months. One expert told the newspaper the drill is aimed at testing new naval equipment under challenging weather conditions.

Chinese naval commanders have long worried that their access to the Pacific is restricted by a string of mainly Japanese islands stretching from South Korea in the north to Taiwan in the south. Japan permits free navigation through the island chains but keeps a close watch on Chinese ship movements.

In its statement Wednesday, Beijing said China's lawful rights, including free navigation in relevant waters, should not be hindered.

China has been building up its naval power, including a recent sea trial of its first aircraft carrier. The build-up has been accompanied by a major diplomatic dispute with Japan over islands in the East China Sea and moves to disrupt oil and gas exploration by Vietnam and the Philippines in disputed areas of the South China Sea.

Obama's decision to station U.S. troops in Australia was widely interpreted as a move to balance China's rising power. During his high-profile visit to the region last week, Obama announced a policy "pivot" toward Asia and declared the United States is in Asia to stay.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid