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China is flexing its muscles in the Pacific Ocean

February 8, 2012

 

Photo: EPA

China’s Navy ships moved to the Western part of the Pacific for military exercise. In response Tokyo expressed its concern about the growing naval activity of the Chinese Armed Forces in that region.

According to Japanese mass media, a group consisting of four battle ships (frigates) of the Chinese Navy passed through the waters between the Japanese islands of Okinawa and Miyako. The Chinese Defense Ministry already made a statement that the tour of the ships is connected to the preparation of the annual military exercise of routine nature. In response to the concern of the Japanese side, Beijing stated that China has a free right to pass in those waters. According to the Chinese authorities, that is completely within the norms of international law and common practice.

However, the observers note that the exercise is taking place in the situation of deteriorated relations between Japan and China related to the old territirial dispute over the Diaoyu Islands. A couple of days ago Japan voiced its protest over the information that China unilaterally started oil exploration works of the oil deposits in the East China Sea. On the other hand, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced the plans of the Japanese government to give names to several desert islands situated near the contested Diaoyu Islands.

Lately, Tokyo has repeatedly voiced its concern over the fast escalation of China’s military power with the lack of clarity on Beijing’s geopolitical plans. In its annual report for 2011 the Japanese Ministry of Defense forecast that China would attempt to make regular its naval activity in the waters surrounding the Japanese islands, including East China Sea, the Pacific as well as in the South China Sea. The rise in Chinese Navy’s activity confirms that China indeed plans to broaden its naval presense in the area that Tokyo has a clain on, says president of the Academy of Geopolitical problems general Leonid Ivashov in his interview to the Voice of Russia.

«It is a serious territorial dispute, especially given that the area is rich in hydrocarbon and fish resources. China puts on the military power pressure to support its claims.

But there is another side that is clearly present. Over the last years the US has escalated their naval activity around China. The US is deploying in Australia a military base and even strategic aviation. Americans control the Strait of Malacca that is vital to China and they try to make friends with India on anti-Chinese basis.

In response China demonstrates its power and right to dominate in the Asian Pacific region, in the Western part of the Pacific», general Ivashov believes. Beijing has repeatedly voiced its discontent with Washington’s interference in the territorial conflicts in the South China Sea. Lately Washington has stepped up its security related relations with such countries as India, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore, all of which appears to Chine to threaten its strategic interests. Thus, the current exercise is not only related to the territorial disputes over the Diaoyu Islands, but also to the growth in the US activity in the Pacific region. Over the last two years China’s Navy conducted about 50 military exercises. Beijing views its more active show of the flag activity in the Pacific Ocean as a way to strengthen its influence as a regional superpower challenging the USA.

Photo: EPA
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China’s Navy ships moved to the Western part of the Pacific for military exercise. In response Tokyo expressed its concern about the growing naval activity of the Chinese Armed Forces in that region.

According to Japanese mass media, a group consisting of four battle ships (frigates) of the Chinese Navy passed through the waters between the Japanese islands of Okinawa and Miyako. The Chinese Defense Ministry already made a statement that the tour of the ships is connected to the preparation of the annual military exercise of routine nature. In response to the concern of the Japanese side, Beijing stated that China has a free right to pass in those waters. According to the Chinese authorities, that is completely within the norms of international law and common practice.

However, the observers note that the exercise is taking place in the situation of deteriorated relations between Japan and China related to the old territirial dispute over the Diaoyu Islands. A couple of days ago Japan voiced its protest over the information that China unilaterally started oil exploration works of the oil deposits in the East China Sea. On the other hand, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced the plans of the Japanese government to give names to several desert islands situated near the contested Diaoyu Islands.

Lately, Tokyo has repeatedly voiced its concern over the fast escalation of China’s military power with the lack of clarity on Beijing’s geopolitical plans. In its annual report for 2011 the Japanese Ministry of Defense forecast that China would attempt to make regular its naval activity in the waters surrounding the Japanese islands, including East China Sea, the Pacific as well as in the South China Sea. The rise in Chinese Navy’s activity confirms that China indeed plans to broaden its naval presense in the area that Tokyo has a clain on, says president of the Academy of Geopolitical problems general Leonid Ivashov in his interview to the Voice of Russia.

«It is a serious territorial dispute, especially given that the area is rich in hydrocarbon and fish resources. China puts on the military power pressure to support its claims.

But there is another side that is clearly present. Over the last years the US has escalated their naval activity around China. The US is deploying in Australia a military base and even strategic aviation. Americans control the Strait of Malacca that is vital to China and they try to make friends with India on anti-Chinese basis.

In response China demonstrates its power and right to dominate in the Asian Pacific region, in the Western part of the Pacific», general Ivashov believes. Beijing has repeatedly voiced its discontent with Washington’s interference in the territorial conflicts in the South China Sea. Lately Washington has stepped up its security related relations with such countries as India, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore, all of which appears to Chine to threaten its strategic interests. Thus, the current exercise is not only related to the territorial disputes over the Diaoyu Islands, but also to the growth in the US activity in the Pacific region. Over the last two years China’s Navy conducted about 50 military exercises. Beijing views its more active show of the flag activity in the Pacific Ocean as a way to strengthen its influence as a regional superpower challenging the USA.

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