PLA Navy to carry out drills, exercises in Bashi Channel

The official Weibo micro blog page of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy announced this week that since 2012, the Miyakato Strait near Japan and the Bashi Channel near Taiwan and the Philippines, have been designated as an area for routine drills and exercises.

The announcement marks a departure for the PLA Navy, which had previously conducted most of its activities in the Miyakato Strait, which is located between Japan and Taiwan.

The Bashi Channel is a waterway that is part of the Luzon Strait in the Pacific Ocean. It’s situated between outlying islands of Taiwan and the Philippines and serves as a natural but often-disputed border between the two nations.

The PLA Navy’s aim of expanding operations into the Bashi Channel this year may raise concerns about a potential impact on Taiwan’s national security.

Asked about China’s announcement, Luo Shao-ho, a spokesperson for Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said that defense officials were aware of the matter and will continue to monitor developments.

Reports have indicated that Chinese armed forces had recently flown through the Bashi Channel and the Miyako Strait to conduct air drills over the western Pacific Ocean.

Full article: PLA Navy to carry out drills, exercises in Bashi Channel (Want China Times)

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