The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has been conducting a number of exercises this month, and that has reportedly included simulated attacks on Taiwan and Japan’s Okinawa prefecture. A Chinese carrier strike group, led by the PLAN’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning, has been operating several hundred miles southwest of Japan’s Kitadaitou Island.
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The PLAN warships had transited the Miyako Strait on December 15, and began exercises the next day – immediately following the news that Tokyo was increasing its defense spending. The drills include aircraft launches from the carrier as well as simulated missile launches from the PLAN’s Type 055 missile destroyers that targeted the Ryukyu Island chain as well as military assets in Okinawa, a source with the Chinese military told Taiwan News.
Japan’s new National Security Strategy has called for new missile systems – including U.S.-made Tomahawks – to be deployed on the islands in the region. From those locations, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces could be able to strike targets in North Korea as well as mainland China.
It has been suggested that Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered the exercises with the intention to undermine Japan’s security strategy and to show that any missiles located on the islands could be easily targeted by the PLAN.
During the exercises on Sunday, China also deployed 47 aircraft across the median line of the Taiwan Strait, the largest incursion of Taiwan’s air defense zone in several months. According to reports, the aircraft included forty-two J-10, J-11, J-16, and Su-30 fighter jets, two Y-8 maritime patrol aircraft, a KJ-500 early warning aircraft, as well as a CH-4 and a WZ-7 military drone.
A total of seventy-one Chinese aircraft took part in the weekend’s “strike drills” around the self-governing island nation of 24 million people.
Despite never having controlled Taiwan, the Chinese Communist Party views it as a breakaway province that will be returned to mainland control, by force if necessary. Taipei has strongly rejected Beijing’s sovereignty claims and said this week’s drills showed that the mainland was determined to destroy regional peace while trying to intimidate Taiwan’s people.
Joint Chinese-Russian Drills
The Chinese PLAN also completed joint naval drills in the East Chinese Sea with vessels from the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet. The December 21-27 exercises, dubbed “Maritime Interaction-2022,” were carried out in the waters off Zhoushan and Taizhou in China’s Zhejiang Province.
“Detachments of warships of the Pacific Fleet and the Naval Forces of the People’s Liberation Army of China have completed practical tasks within the framework of the bilateral naval exercise,” Russia’s defense ministry said via a statement to state media.
“The ships of the two countries, with the support of anti-submarine aviation, jointly searched for a submarine of a conditional enemy and fired a volley of jet depth charges,” the ministry added.
These were the latest exercises between the two nations, which have seen closer relations in recent years. While once the leader in the global Communist hierarchy, Russia following the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union is now considered the “junior partner” to a resurgent China.
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Author Experience and Expertise: A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.
December 28, 2022 at 4:59 pm
Surface warships are obsolete in the Information Age.
This is true of US warships, but even more so of Chinese warships (300+), which are much less capable of defending themselves from anti-ship smart weapons.
If China ever does start a war in the China Sea. US warships will need to keep their distance or be destroyed. But China’s warships will have no where to run to, and will be destroyed by Taiwan’s and the West’s thousands of superior smart weapons.
December 28, 2022 at 7:35 pm
I still think our Navy ought to “inspect “ some oil tankers headed for China after they transit the Gulf. Perhaps the oil pipeline passing through Pakistan to China needs to suffer an “accident “ similar to the Nordstreams.
China has a lot of firepower concentrated within the fist island chain but not much elsewhere despite the bases it is building. It is terribly vulnerable to cuts to its oil supply. Maybe we need to remind them of this.
December 28, 2022 at 8:38 pm
Reading about China’s bluster, Shakespeare comes to mind: Me thinks tho doth protest a bit too much.
December 29, 2022 at 7:38 am
China’s navy won’t last /surpass the first 2 hours in an all-out war or ww3.
Many of its ‘modern’ warships are laughably or jokingly equipped with just one or two gatling guns per ship.
What world should be concerned is not china’s navy but xi jinping’s latest move to export or send covid infected tourists to all over the world.
Joe biden is the top american public enemy number one today, cuz not only he stupidly fomented proxy war against a nuclear rival but also failed to issue an arrest warrant for xi jinping.
As a result of biden’s criminal stance, xi is now trying to re-covid the whole world.
Down with joe biden & xi jinping !!!
December 30, 2022 at 9:41 am
The remaining active B-1B supersonic, long-range bomber fleet has 46 planes that can each carry 24 Long-Range Antiship Missiles – Extended Range (LRASM-ER), basically stealthy long-range cruise missiles. That means in one sortie, just the B-1B fleet can launch over 1,000 anti-ship missiles in one sortie from beyond the range of interdiction or detection by Chinese forces.
Think of an invasion fleet packed between China and Taiwan. Suddenly, they detect the LRASM-ERs coming in at about 10NMs at over 600mph. They scramble to get their anti-missile systems engaged on these relatively stealthy missiles. Then every capital ship and troop carrier in the invasion fleet is his by multiple missiles with 1,000 lb warheads.
Then the B-1Bs can load up and do it again, if necessary. IF we have enough missiles, of course. We do need to build missiles and build delivery systems that can penetrate in theater to deliver them.
Of course, this discounts other US assets like submarines…but you get the picture. The Chinese are playing with fire and don’t even know it.