China to conduct naval drills in Pacific amid tension

BEIJING Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:42pm IST

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - Three advanced Chinese warships left port on Wednesday for naval drills and war games in the Western Pacific, and the fleet will likely pass through disputed waters in the East and South China Sea, state media said.

The official Xinhua news agency described the manoeuvres as routine, but they come as China is engaged in an increasingly bitter, high stakes dispute over maritime territory with Japan and with several Southeast Asia nations.

"The fleet will carry out more than 20 types of exercises including naval confrontation, battle drills far out at sea, the protection of maritime rights and command and control," Xinhua cited the Defence Ministry as saying in a statement.

"These exercises on the high seas will take in the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, the South China Sea, the Miyako Strait, the Bashi Channel and the seas to the east of Taiwan."

President Hu Jintao has made boosting the navy a priority, especially in trying to turn it into a blue-water fleet able to operate far from China's shore, and Chinese ships have participated in anti-piracy missions off Somalia.

But China's growing defence budget, military advances and perceived lack of transparency have alarmed its neighbours and the United States. China is developing stealth fighters and last year launched its first aircraft carrier.

On Sunday, the government said it had again tested emerging military technology aimed at destroying missiles in mid-air.

China says it has no hostile designs and that it is simply updating its outdated forces.

The Pacific drills are "a normal way of exercising to raise the fighting ability of the navy", Xinhua cited a naval officer as saying, adding that it was common for other navies to drill in seas far from home. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

UKRAINE CRISIS

Reuters Showcase

Gaza Violence

Gaza Violence

Shi'ite militia kill dozens of Iraqi Sunnis in mosque shooting.  Full Article 

Fighting Ebola

Fighting Ebola

WHO warns of "shadow zones" and unreported Ebola cases.  Full Article 

Rising Toll

Rising Toll

Documented death toll in syria war at least 191,369 through April 2014 - U.N.  Full Article 

Tensions Ease

Tensions Ease

National Guard begins pullout from riot-weary Ferguson, Missouri.  Full Article 

Journalist's Murder

Journalist's Murder

U.N. Security Council condemns journalist's murder, urges defeat of Islamic State.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage