Naval group of the Pacific Fleet arrived in the PRC to participate in the Russian-Chinese exercise “Naval interaction-2016”

 

 

The naval group of the Pacific Fleet has arrived in the Zhanjiang Port (People’s Republic of China) for participation in the joint Russian-Chinese naval exercise Naval interaction – 2016.

The group consists of major ASW ships Admiral Tributs and Admiral Vinogradov, the major landing ship Peresvet, the sea tug Alatau and the Pechenga tanker. The Commander of the group is Rear Admiral Vadim Kulit.

During the entrance into the foreign port, the military seamen of both countries fired “international salute” (21 volleys from each side). The servicemen of the Pacific Fleet were met at the quay by representatives of the Russian Navy and the Chinese Navy, as well as the silent drill team and the orchestra.

The joint Russian-Chinese exercise will take place on September 12-19 in the air, coastal and maritime zones of the South China Sea.

South China Sea Time Bomb: Beijing Sets “Red Line” on Japan-US Joint Operations

In this April 26, 2012 file photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese navy's missile destroyer DDG-112 Harbin fires a shell during the China-Russia joint naval exercise in the Yellow Sea

 

The Chinese Ambassador to Japan warned that Beijing would not concede on the demand or relinquish their sovereignty over the South China Sea even if it meant the two countries went to war.

On Saturday, diplomatic sources confirmed that China had issued a severe warning to Tokyo in late June demanding that Japan refrain from dispatching Self-Defense Forces to join US operations testing the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.Japan will “cross a red line” if SDF vessels take part in the freedom of navigation operations, Chinese Ambassador Cheng Yonghua conveyed to Tokyo at the time. Cheng threatened military action if Japan failed to comply with the ultimatum.

The warning came two weeks prior to The Hague international arbitration court’s adverse ruling deeming the waters and territory that the Chinese people had historically viewed as their own were to be stripped of their control and that Beijing must immediately remove itself from the disputed territory.

China immediately denounced the ruling, on both substantive and procedural grounds, vowing not to comply with the court’s ruling. The proceedings were triggered unilaterally by the Philippines, a move supported by the United States, without China submitting itself to the authority of the court’s ruling. The court not only lacked requisite jurisdiction over the matter, but many legal scholars interpreting the Law of the Sea Treaty believe that China has the strongest claim based on its longstanding control of the disputed area.

Beijing has become irate over international pressure calling for it to comply with the court order in the name of international law, which China views the ruling itself violates, coming predominantly from regional competitors Japan and Australia as well as from the United States.

Those tensions risk spilling over with a Chinese state-run newspaper already issuing a warning to Australia that it would be the “ideal target for a strike” and repeated warnings to Japan to avoid intervening. Further complicating tensions, Reuters misreported that Vietnam had installed rocket launchers pointing at Chinese military assets over the territorial dispute leading China’s press to caution Hanoi to remember the consequence of the last-time the two countries went to war in 1979.

While Tokyo continues to assert pressure on Beijing over the arbitration ruling, despite not itself being a party to the dispute, a Japan Times editorial left unsigned sought to offer reassurance saying that “the Japanese government has no plans to join the freedom of navigation operations, in which the United States since October has sent warships near artificial islands that China has built in the South China Sea.”

The statement of measured and reserve action comes after revelations that Chinese Ambassador Cheng Yonghua told Japan explicitly not to take part in “joint military actions with the US forces that is aimed at excluding China in the South China Sea” and stating that China “will not concede on sovereignty issues and is not afraid of military provocations.”

The stakes for Beijing are high in the South China Sea where over 40% of the world’s shipborne trade transits through each day. The waters also are home to one of the world’s largest deep-sea oil and natural gas deposits and serves a critical function for stretching China’s regional military reach.

Russia, China to Hold Joint South China Sea Drills in September

An aerial photo taken though a glass window of a Taiwanese military plane shows the view of Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, at the South China Sea, March 23, 2016

 

Russia and China will hold joint naval exercises in the highly-contested South China Sea.

 Russia and China will hold joint naval exercises in the South China Sea, the Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said Thursday.

“Based on the consensus reached by the parties, the Chinese and Russian navies will hold joint Sea Cooperation-2016 exercises in the South China Sea in September,” Yang told a briefing, noting that the drills “are not aimed at third countries.”

A highly-contested region through which roughly $5 trillion in international trade passes annually, most of the waterway is claimed by China, though there are overlapping claims by Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei.

Is China Set to Announce a South China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone?

In this undated photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a Chinese H-6K bomber patrols the islands and reefs in the South China Sea.

 

In June, China announced that it is ready to impose an air defense identification zone in the South China Sea, similar to the one it did in the East China Sea almost three years ago. Meanwhile Chinese H-6K bombers are already patrolling the islands and reefs there. A military expert told Sputnik that the recent Hague ruling may facilitate the move.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague’s ruling in favor of the Philippines’ case challenging China’s South China Sea claims has forced Beijing to prepare for a dialogue with Manila on disadvantageous terms, Vasily Kashin, military expert and a senior researcher at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies, told Sputnik.China is not the first nation which refuses to recognize the arbitration court decision, he added; however, the US is trying to use this to mount more pressure on Beijing.

The last thing the Chinese want in this situation, the expert says, is to seem weak. It appears that from a technical point of view, the preparation for creating an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea was completed long ago.

ADIZ is a publicly defined area where unidentified aircraft can be interrogated or intercepted before entering sovereign airspace.

However it could be announced right now, due to the recent arbitration court ruling, which Beijing is protesting.

The regular combat air patrols of its H-6K long-range nuclear-capable bombers will be a substantial show of power.

Vasily Kashin recalled that China’s air defense identification zone in the East China Sea has been demonstratively ignored by Japan and the US. So far, it hasn’t resulted in any dangerous incidents, however combat aircraft have already been at risk of near-midair collision.

Given the increased tensions, one can’t rule out a repeat of the Hainan Island incident of April 2001, when a US Navy EP-3 surveillance plane collided with a Chinese J-8 fighter jet in the airspace above China’s 200 mile (321.8 km) Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).The mid-air collision then sent the Chinese jet into the ocean and forced the US plane to make an emergency landing in Chinese territory – on the island of Hainan.

The repeat of such an incident would be highly undesirable by both sides, the expert says.

After the construction of the artificial island and opening of a new airport there, China has additional opportunities for control of the airspace above the disputed area.

The airport on Woody Island (called Yongxing Island in China) in the Paracel Islands archipelago has already been used for stationing J-11 fighter jets.

China has also deployed its fourth-generation HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) to Woody Island; their engagement zone is tangent to the engagement zone of similar systems deployed on the island of Hainan.

The expert, however, argues that such systems deployed far in the South on the Spratly Islands, which lie almost 1,000 km away from Hainan, would hardly be of any use in the event of a large-scale conflict.

These islands are too small to provide any shelter and protection against airstrikes and cruise missiles. The garrisons located there will be doomed, he says.

But under the conditions of prolonged tension which does not escalate into war, the fighter jets deployed there might be of great use.  Their escort of US combat and reconnaissance jets will demonstrate China’s power and readiness to firmly safeguard its positions.

At the same time, he says, it is very important for Beijing not overplay its hand with Manila and not to disrupt the dialogue between the two due to any military incident, especially now, when there is still a chance for a deal with the new administration in the Philippines.

Visit to Beijing by US Admiral to Seek Calm Amid Storm Over South China Sea

Adm. John Richardson delivers remarks during the commissioning ceremony of the Virginia-class attack submarine USS John Warner (SSN 785) at Naval Station Norfolk.

 

US Chief of Operations Admiral John Richardson will visit China next week to promote smooth sailing in encounters between US and Chinese warships in South China Sea, according to the US Navy.

WASHINGTON             US Chief of Operations Admiral John Richardson will visit China next week to promote smooth sailing in encounters between US and Chinese warships despite the two countries’ disagreements over who owns the South China Sea, the US Navy announced in a press release.

“The goal of the three-day visit to Beijing and Qingdao is to improve mutual understanding and encourage professional interaction between the two navies,” the release stated on Thursday.

Talks between Richardson and People’s Liberation Army Commander Admiral Wu Shengli will include the South China Sea, the ongoing Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise and future opportunities for the two navies to operate together.

Beijing claims ownership of more than 90 percent of the South China Sea, a vital international waterway through which more than half of global commercial shipping passes.

Earlier on Thursday, two Chinese aircraft landed on artificial islands near the Philippines and blocked a Filipino boat from approaching a contested shoal, according to press reports from the region.

China’s action marked the latest show of defiance against an international tribunal ruling earlier in the week that Beijing’s territorial claims were baseless.

US and Chinese warships frequently meet in tense encounters in the South China Sea during US-led exercises that are intended to defy Beijing’s claim by emphasizing the waterway’s international status.

Meet China’s New Coast Guard Ship, Likely to Patrol South China Sea

The latest China Coast Guard (CCG) ship

 

Amid ongoing tensions in the South China Sea, Beijing has unveiled its latest Coast Guard vessel.

The heart of the South China Sea conflict is a series of artificial islands in the Spratly archipelago built by Beijing. While the US and its Pacific allies have called the islands illegal, China maintains it has the right to build within its territory, and has consistently maintained that the installations will be used primarily for humanitarian purposes.

As part of that promise, Beijing has unveiled its latest China Coast Guard (CCG) ship. Likely to patrol the waters around the Spratlys, the vessel could also be used in search and rescue operations.

The ship’s hull is based on the type 054A Jiangkai II frigates used by the People’s Liberation Army. Both vessels are roughly the same length and have a flight deck and helicopter hangar. The vessels weighs an estimated 3,000-4,000 tons.

The ship is currently unarmed, but can be mounted with 20-30 mm guns, as well as a 76 mm gun in the bow.

The latest China Coast Guard (CCG) ship
Chinese internet via cjdby.net
The latest China Coast Guard (CCG) ship

A highly contested region through which nearly $5 trillion in trade passes annually, most of the South China Sea is claimed by China, but there are overlapping claims by Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, and the Philippines.

Earlier on Friday, US Senator John McCain argued that the United States should escalate its military efforts in the region.

“We should make it clear that these are international waters and filling in islands is in violation of international law,” he said, according to Breaking Defense. “I would like to see both air and ship transiting the areas around these islands as just a normal routine.”