News / Asia

China Conducts Military Exercise in South China Sea

China says it has held a large scale military exercise in the South China Sea that coincided with drills in the Sea of Japan by the United States and South Korea.  

State media say China's military forces this week conducted the largest exercise of its kind since the founding of the military, known as the People's Liberation Army. The official Xinhua news agency reports numerous warships, submarines, and combat aircraft took part in live fire exercises held Monday in the South China Sea.

The exercises, which were not made public for three days, were overseen by senior military leaders, including the army's chief of staff, Chen Bingde. China's official Central Television quoted Chen as saying they must watch the situation in the South China Sea carefully and prepare for potential military conflicts.

Regional tensions

Analysts say the show of military capability will raise concerns among Southeast Asian nations that have competing claims with China for territory in the South China Sea.  

Ian Storey, with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, said the exercise was a message to the United States that China is upset with its getting involved in the territorial disputes.  But Storey predicted the military exercises will also be viewed negatively by others in the region.

"For the countries of Southeast Asia and elsewhere, including countries like Japan, they will see this as another example of China's increasingly assertive behavior in the South China Sea," said Storey.  

China has been exercising its claims to the South China Sea by seizing Vietnamese fishing boats and pressuring western oil companies not to do business with Vietnam.  The U.S. navy says last year Chinese ships harassed one of its vessels in international waters that China claims as territory.

Beijing's military buildup

China has built up a navy base on its southern Hainan island raising concerns it aims to project power in the important shipping lanes. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam also lay claim to islands and waters in the South China Sea.

China has increased its percentage of military spending by double digits every year for more than a decade, raising concerns about Beijing's intentions. China says the spending is aimed at modernizing its military but maintains a historic claim to Taiwan, which it says must one day be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.

China's actions have increased tensions in the region says Carl Thayer from Australia's University of New South Wales.  

"Whatever China sees that it argues is defensive vis-a-vis the United States or Taiwan is causing security anxieties in Southeast Asia... So this is a time, I don't want to be a doomsayer, but this is a time where the warning bells should go on, quite early, to say this is time for the regional architecture to try to address these tensions and prevent them from getting worse," Thayer said.

U.S. offers diplomatic solution

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week told a regional security forum in Hanoi that Washington was willing to facilitate multilateral dialogue on the disputes.  She said the U.S. opposed the use of coercion and threats or the use of force. China responded by calling the comments an attack on China and an attempt to internationalize issues it wants addressed bilaterally.

A spokesman for China's ministry of defense, Geng Yansheng, on Friday repeated objections to Clinton's comments and China's claims to the South China Sea.  But Geng said that China would not interfere with foreign ships and aircraft passing through the area as long as they were in compliance with international law.  

The drills came as the South Korean and American militaries conducted similar exercises in the Sea of Japan. The joint exercises were a show of force to North Korea, which Seoul and Washington blamed for sinking a South Korean war ship and killing 46 sailors.  Pyongyang denies it was responsible and both North Korea and China objected to the military drills.  

It was not clear if the Chinese military exercises were planned in advance or were a response to those by the United States and South Korea. But, the official China Daily newspaper linked the two, saying the Chinese maneuvers were just one of many the PLA carried out before and during the South Korea-U.S. maneuvers.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid