Six warships passed through the Ryukyus for exercises in eastern Taiwan.
China’s first aircraft carrier led a fleet of five warships to participate in exercises and training in eastern Taiwan waters this week.
The Liaoning and its escort ships through passed through the Miyako Strait last Saturday and was monitored by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. The Miyako Strait is the widest strait in Japan’s Ryukyu chain, stretching about 130 nautical miles between the islands of Okinawa and Miyako, and is the PLA Navy’s preferred route through the First Island Chain into the Western Pacific.
Some experts believe that the exercises are intended to demonstrate the PLAN’s ability to strike into the wider Pacific Ocean, but the Ryukyus was surveyed a lot, and in a conflict, warships of the enemy would be very vulnerable to aircraft, mobile ground-launched missiles on islands bordering the strait, or submarines patrolling out of the strait.
The drills themselves in some quarters were interpreted as a message to Taiwan and the United States, but the PLA Navy said it was part of a normal training plan. Statement of naval spokesperson to speak that “This is a periodic exercise held according to the annual work plan to test the effectiveness of military training and improve the capacity to protect sovereignty, security and national development interests” and Future drills will continue as planned, regularly platform.
This may be true. Just as the Miyako Strait could demonstrate a dangerous route for PLA warships to pass through in a conflict, it is not clear what military targets they will serve in eastern Taiwan, where they will be. more vulnerable to coalition attacks than inside First Island. Chain and under the guise of aircraft and rockets on mainland China.
Just as the United States has begun sending warships across the Taiwan Strait more frequently to establish normal and non-threatening maneuvers, PLA Navy’s voyages through the Miyako Strait and operations. Pacific exercises are likely aimed at fulfilling training goals and normalizing China’s peacetime presence in the seas.
The selection of Liaoning to lead the fleet also shows China’s intention to send a more general political signal to the United States, Japan, and Taiwan rather than impart a clear threat. Although China claims the Liotering, built on a heavily refurbished Soviet hull, is “ready to fight“In 2016, it was still primarily considered a training and testing platform.