The Chinese navy conducted war games over the disputed South China Sea. The People’s Republic of China described the activity as a realistic confrontation training exercise. The so-called confrontation drill was conducted days after the U.S. deployed its guided missile destroyer to patrol over the contested region.
China’s Ministry of National Defense deployed its destroyer with soldiers aboard in order to undergo search and seizure training exercise with a simulated enemy vessel. The guided missile destroyer flotilla under the South China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy trained its soldiers for anti-shore firing at night and anti-aircraft firing in what it described as “complex electromagnetic environment.”
The Chinese military had also send in its fighter jets armed with missiles for live military training, according to a related report from South China Morning Post. The report cited military experts saying the training was China’s response to the U.S. guided-missile destroyer that U.S. sent for patrols in the region. “It’s a signal China sent to the US that it is serious about its claims. This is the minimum level of response China should have, or it will fail the expectation of its people,” Chinese general Xu Guangyu said as quoted by the South China Morning Post.
As previously reported by Morning News USA, the Pentagon upheld that the destroyer was deployed in the exercise of the country’s freedom of navigation. However, Chinese officials were irked by the move. “Such dangerous and provocative acts have threatened China’s sovereignty and security and harmed regional peace and stability,” Admiral Wu Shengli of the PLA Navy told his U.S.-counterpart Admiral John Richardson.
Wu Shengli maintained that dredging project and airstrips built by China over the contested islands are “reasonable and legal and does not target or affect any other countries. It will not influence the freedom of navigation and flight enjoyed by other countries.” He explained further that “freedom of navigation in the South China sea has not had a problem in the past and will not have one now or in the future.”