A Chinese landing craft with 1,000 marines for Syria – reports

Western naval sources reported Friday that a Chinese landing craft, the Jinggangshan, with a 1,000-strong marine battalion had reached the Red Sea en route for the Mediterranean off Syria.  According to DEBKAfile, Beijing has already deployed a number of warships opposite Syria in secret. If the latest report is confirmed, this will be the largest Chinese deployment in the Middle East in its naval history. Continue reading

Inside China: Xi promotes ‘military dream’

Chinese PresidentXi Jinping paid a special visit April 9 to a submarine and destroyer base at Sanya in the southern maritime province of Hainan in what is viewed as a major boost to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) navy’s morale and ambition.

“I want you all to combine your personal ideals with the ‘dream to strengthen the military,’” Mr. Xi told PLA navy personnel, using one of his dream-inspired catchphrases such as “the Chinese dream” and “the dream to revive the Chinese nation.”

China recently began a warship-building surge. At the Sanya base, Mr. Xi rode an open-top jeep and inspected 11 new warships anchored at the port, most of them Type 054A destroyers equipped with China’s best anti-submarine sensors and weapons. Continue reading

China Holds Landing Exercises in Disputed Seas

BEIJING (AP) — China’s increasingly powerful navy paid a symbolic visit to the country’s southernmost territorial claim deep in the South China Sea this week as part of military drills in the disputed Spratly Islands involving amphibious landings and aircraft.

The four-ship task force is headed next to the Pacific Ocean for deep-sea exercises via the Bashi Channel separating Taiwan and the Philippines, Xinhua said. Continue reading