The ruling by the Arbitration Court at the Hague is about a day away, and China is wasting no time making a show of military might along the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
The People’s Liberation Army Navy has been carrying out one of its largest live fire drills along the disputed waters. The exercise is supposed to cover various kinds of combat situations. These include sea battles, anti-submarine warfare as well as air control operations.
For the training event, several Chinese generals worked together on a joint command tactical scenario. They include those from the South Theatre Command, Center Military Commission’s Joint Staff Department as well as Training Management.
According to state-run news agency Xinhua, the combat drill by the Chinese navy included participation from the PLAN’s Nanhai Fleet, Donghai Fleet and Nanhai Fleet. These drills include the participation of missile frigates and missile destroyers among others.
The navy conducted the drills in the Haninan Island in South China as well as the disputed Xisha Islands (Paracel Islands). A report from the South China Morning Post revealed that China may have conducted its recent series of combat drills with the U.S. as its invisible target.
Tensions have been rising lately at the South China Sea, with the U.S. rushing to the aid of its allies as China continues aggressive actions on several disputed territories.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter that China could be erecting a “Great Wall of self-isolation” for itself should it continue with its activities. On the other hand, China Ministry of National Defense spokesman Senior Colonel Yang Yujun insisted that China is not doing anything wrong.
“China has never been the provoker in any complex situation. Chinese military’s operations in the relevant waters are appropriate, reasonable, legitimate, professional and responsible,” he said. Moreover, he alleged that there are other countries who seem to have become “trouble makers” in the South China Sea.
“There will be peace and stability in the South China Sea when the U.S. warships and warplanes cease their provocation,” Yang added.