skip to main content

China's armed forces conduct over 120 maritime exercises in three months

China's naval, air, and army amphibious forces have conducted more than 120 maritime exercises during the past three months, the state-owned Global Times newspaper reported on 24 August, an indication that the country's maritime forces are striving to achieve a high level of operational readiness.

The report drew on information provided in navigation warning notices published by China's Maritime Safety Administration, as well as information released by official sources in Taiwan. The exercises have encompassed a range of capabilities and spanned areas from north to south, taking place in the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, the Taiwan Strait, and the South China Sea.

Although the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) gives no prior details of any exercises, some are subsequently reported by Chinese news media or through military social media outlets. These reflect that the exercises range from simple to more complex, and from short duration to extending over several days.

At one end of the scale, some of the exercises have involved one or more corvettes conducting live firings for gunnery practice, while at the other end, others have focused on amphibious landing training involving multiple ships and aircraft, together with maritime infantry forces from the Naval Marine Corps and amphibious forces of the PLA Ground Force.

The Global Times, which has a reputation for pursuing an overtly nationalist agenda, linked the level of exercise activity with “foreign military provocations”, specifically US surveillance activities, US warships “trespassing” in Chinese waters, and the presence of US and UK aircraft carriers in the region.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...