China has the ability to deploy 2,000 troops to the disputed Diaoyutai islands (Diaoyu to China, Senkaku to Japan) in just five hours using its four Zubr-class air-cushioned landing craft purchased from Russia, according to an Apr. 2 report in the Wall Street Journal.
Although Lieutenant General John Wissler, the commanding general of the US Marine Corps in Okinawa, says that the United States is capable of wiping out invading Chinese forces without mobilizing ground forces, Western military expert have begun to question whether Washington and Tokyo are capable of defending Okinawa from a potential PLA invasion. Continue reading
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