China PLA Navy: Expect more Chinese warships, aircraft in Pacific Ocean

Days after a Taiwanese newspaper reported that China is dispatching surveillance vessels off the coast of Hawaii as a response to United States Navy’s operations in West Philippine Sea, China reports PLA Navy successfully conducted a coordinated training in West Pacific Ocean.

“The aviation force of the Chinese PLA Navy sent its aircraft on June 10 to the airspace over the sea area in east of the Bashi Channel, West Pacific Ocean,” Chinese Navy Spokesperson Liang Yang said. Bashi Channel is part of Luzon Strait in the Pacific Ocean, and is located between Batanes and Taiwan.

The Chinese naval spokesman added that goals of the said training was met. He noted that the exercise is routine and no country is being targeted. He added that “sending warships and aircraft to conduct open-sea coordinated training is the PLA Navy’s regular practice and also a common practice of world navies.”

Neighboring states and stakeholders can expect more activities such like this. “China will continue to carry out such training activities in the future,” Liang Yang said.

Last March, the PLA Air Force conducted its first military training using new-type bomber planes in Pacific Ocean via the same route the PLA Navy took.

In the 2015 annual report of US Defense Department to US Congress, US-DoD said “preparing for potential conflict in the Taiwan Strait remains the focus and primary driver of China’s military investment; however, the PRC is increasing its emphasis on preparations for contingencies other than Taiwan, such as contingencies in the East China Sea and South China Sea.”