Chinese Air Force announces ‘regular’ exercises flying through key entryway into western Pacific

A Chinese H-6K bomber patrols islands and reefs in the South China Sea in this undated photo. | XINHUA NEWS AGENCY / AP

 

China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force has announced that it will be organizing “regular” exercises that fly past the so-called first island chain — a key entryway into the western Pacific that includes Japan’s Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan.

In the latest exercise, air force spokesman Shen Jinke said China had sent a fleet of aircraft that included H-6K bombers, Su-30 fighters and air tankers over the Bashi Strait and into the western Pacific for a “routine” combat simulation drill Monday, state media reported. Continue reading

Get ready, Japan: China’s ‘cruise missile carriers’ go on patrol

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s (PLAAF) bomber force recently conducted exercises beyond “the first island chain” according to the Chinese defense ministry. Continue reading

PLA wants ability to attack Taiwan by 2020: report

China has in recent years continued to upgrade several major weapons systems to complete preparations for a reliable fighting force that could launch an attack Taiwan by 2020, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense has said in an annual report on the country’s security.

Though beijing has said it hopes to solve disputes between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait through peaceful means, it continues to ramp up combat readiness and its desire to achieve unification with Taiwan — by force, if deemed necessary — has not changed despite the warming of cross-strait ties. Continue reading

PLA targets Vietnam in S China Sea exercise, US in E China Sea

The People’s Liberation Army Navy last week held large-scale military exercises in the East China and South China seas, according to Sina’s military news web portal.

The targets of the two military exercises were not announced in the PLA press release. Military affairs websites have suggested that the South China Sea exercise is likely aimed at territory within what China calls the “first island chain” — the term the Chinese military uses to refer to the string of archipelagos extending from the Kuril islands south through Japan and its Ryukyu islands, Taiwan and the Philippines — likely in preparation for a potential scenario in which a US aircraft carrier war fleet break through the first island chain. Although this is a reasonable assumption, in a real combat scenario, relying on anti-ship missiles, conventional submarine-launched missiles and air-launched cruise missiles with a range of just 300 kilometers to take on a carrier fleet means that all the warships, planes and submarines would have to penetrate the carrier fleet’s outer defenses and approach its inner defenses to fire their payload. This kind of scenario is hard to imagine playing out in reality, given the naval power of the US. Continue reading

Japan Planning Military Deployment to its Southernmost Islands

The Defense Ministry of Japan is planning to deploy units of its Ground Self-Defense Force to the islands of Miyako and Ishigaki southwest of Okinawa, in what Japanese government sources claimed to be a response to increased maritime activity from Chinese naval vessels in the Pacific Ocean close to the islands.

Around 600 military personnel, equipped with surface-to-ship missiles, are to be deployed on the islands, which are controlled by Japan as part of its Okinawa Prefecture. Continue reading

Senior Navy Intelligence Officer Canned by Pentagon for China Comments

Capt. James Fanell was removed from his position as the director of intelligence and information operations at U.S. Pacific Fleet. Fanell was reassigned within the command.

Though neither the Navy nor Fanell commented on the reason for the personnel change, it is widely believed to be due to an internal investigation of his comments on China, according to the report.

Fanell warned during a February public appearance that a recent Chinese amphibious exercise led naval intelligence to assess that China’s strategy was to be able to launch a “short, sharp war” with Japan, an unusually frank assessment about a closely watched region.

Continue reading

Navy Official: China Training for ‘Short Sharp War’ with Japan

China has long trained for an amphibious invasion of Taiwan during military exercises but has expanded its training to include a similar attack on Japanese holdings in the East China Sea, according the chief of intelligence of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLEET).

As part of China’s Mission Action 2013 exercise — a massive exercise between the all branches of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) — the military trained for taking the Senkaku Islands, said Capt. James Fannell, deputy chief of staff intelligence and information operations for PACFLEET.

View China’s Training Plan in a larger map Continue reading

Okinawa doesn’t belong to Japan, says hawkish PLA general

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    “The Ryukyus do not belong to Japan,” said Major General Luo Yuan. Photo: Simon Song

A hawkish Chinese general has possibly opened a Pandora’s box on territorial disputes in East Asia by saying that the Ryukyu Islands including Okinawa do not belong to Japan.

Luo Yuan, a People’s Liberation Army two-star general, has said that Japan could not rightfully claim sovereignty over the islands, because they had started paying tribute to China half a millenium before they had done so to Japan.  Continue reading

Beijing Says Okinawa May Belong to China

China’s main newspaper said on Wednesday that Beijing is unsure of Japan’s sovereignty over the island of Okinawa—the home of key U.S. military bases.

A long-winded article in the People’s Daily—the mouthpiece of China’s ruling Communist Party—said that Beijing may rightfully own the Ryukyu island chain, which includes Okinawa. The island is home to 1.3 million people, who are much more closely related to Japan than to China in terms of both ethnicity and linguistics. The Ryukyus chain was a sort of vassal state of China before Japan annexed it in 1879, and now the Chinese say it should return to them based on post-World War II measures requiring Japan to return territories that it took from Beijing. Continue reading