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
After commissioning three Type 052C guided-missile destroyers — Changchun, Zhengzhou and Jinan — between 2013 and 2014, a destroyer division of the PLA Navy’s East Sea Fleet based in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province is expected to soon get its fourth destroyer, Xian, equipped with the Zhonghuashendun system also known as the Chinese Aegis.