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Chinese Naval Exercise Counters U.S. Militarization of South China Sea

Aug. 1, 2015 (EIRNS)—Chinese Naval officials have made clear that the PLA Navy live fire exercise held in the South China Sea, this past week, was intended, in part, as a deterrent to the U.S.. Chinese Admiral Yin Zhuo told the People’s Daily that one of the tasks of the exercise was to test the capability of the Second Artillery Corps, China’s strategic missile force, to sink enemy warships using the famous DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile. Yin also said that the exercise was launched to simulate a campaign-level combat simulation. "Even if a war between China and other nations really start in the region of South China Sea, it will not go beyond this level" said Yin. He said that the exercise was launched for political reasons to prove that China has the capability to defend its territory.

China also reacted to criticisms of the exercise from Vietnam and the Philippines, both of which said that it violated their sovereignty. "Such reactions from Vietnam and the Philippines are groundless and they constitute a double-standard," Zhang Junshe, a naval captain and research fellow at the Chinese Naval Research Institute, told the Global Times. "These countries also conduct military drills in the South China Sea with the United States, which are more frequent and larger than China’s." Zhang added that China’s military exercise has focused on defense rather than offense, which demonstrates China is trying to maintain the stability of the region. U.S.-Philippines exercises, on the other hand, practice simulated battles against China and include amphibious assault exercises to capture islands from hostile forces. "Such drills are more aggressive and threaten regional peace."