China recently conducted multiple military exercises with countries including Thailand, Singapore and Pakistan that have enhanced joint operational capabilities and deepened friendship, and by comparison, concurrent US and Canadian provocations in the Taiwan Straits and Philippine’s trespassing in the South China Sea were insignificant, experts said on Sunday.
Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces participating in the China-Thailand Blue Strike-2023 joint naval exercise, including the Type 071 comprehensive landing ship Simingshan, the Type 054A guided missile frigate Anyang and the Type 903A comprehensive replenishment ship Chaohu, embarked on the return voyage from Sattahip, Thailand on Sunday after completing all training missions from September 1 to Saturday, the PLA Daily reported on Sunday.
The joint drill practiced subjects including urban warfare, light arms live-fire shooting, sniping tactics, rappelling, cross-deck helicopter landing, well dock operations, humanitarian aid, establishment of field hospitals, formation maneuvering and joint anti-submarine and light communications, as the two sides learned from and improved each other, enhanced mutual trust and deepened friendship, the PLA Daily said.
The China-Singapore Cooperation-2023 joint ground exercise started on Wednesday in Singapore, four years after the last edition of the Cooperation joint exercise in 2019, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.
Focusing on joint urban counter-terrorism operations, the drill is expected to enhance professional training levels and further deepen mutual trust and friendship, Xinhua said.
Another ongoing foreign military interaction is the China-Pakistan Shaheen (Eagle)-X joint air exercise that started on August 28 in Northwest China, which is organizing joint training on typical combat scenarios including air defense and countermeasures as well as seizing and control in a move to boost the two sides’ joint training level and interoperability.
The Chinese side deployed aircraft including the J-10C, J-11B, J-16 fighter jets and the KJ-500 early warning aircraft in addition to HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles, and the Pakistani side sent the J-10CE and JF-17 fighter jets, according to a video released by the PLA Air Force on Saturday.
Other recent Chinese military interactions with foreign countries include the Pure Homeland-2023 multinational joint mine-clearing operation in Cambodia and the ongoing far sea training visit tour by PLA Navy training ship Qi Jiguang to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.
Amid the friendly atmosphere of military exchanges and cooperation, some US-led and US-incited provocations have made some disharmonious noises.
The US Navy destroyer USS Ralph Johnson and the Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Ottawa on Saturday sailed through the Taiwan Straits, and their transits were tracked, monitored and handled in accordance with the law by naval and air forces of the PLA Eastern Theater Command, Senior Colonel Shi Yi, a spokesperson at the command, said in a statement on Saturday.
On Friday, two supply ships and two coast guard ships of the Philippines trespassed into waters near China’s Ren’ai Jiao (commonly known as Ren’ai Reef) in the Nansha Qundao (Islands) in the South China Sea, forcing the China Coast Guard to send stern warnings, conduct monitoring and apply effective restrictions, the China Coast Guard said in a statement on Friday.
Together with or backed by the US, Canada and the Philippines are provoking China and showing off a political presence, but these moves have no military significance at all, as their vessels are very vulnerable in the region facing Chinese forces, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Sunday.
Compared with Chinese military interactions with other countries, which are with peaceful intensions, the US-led and US-incited military exercises and operations are directed against China, Song said. “China is a maker of peace, and the US is a destroyer of peace,” he noted.
No matter how much the US and its allies provoke, there is no change to the fact that the Nansha Islands and the island of Taiwan belong to China. The provocations will only expose the US’ selfish, hegemonic goals in contrast to China’s initiatives on global security and cooperation, analysts said.