Sunday, March 05, 2017

Footage released of Chinese military drill near Okinawa

Footage of China's military drill conducted Thursday in the waters southeast of Japan's Miyakojima was released Friday night by China state-run television, showing the combined exercises of marine frigates, bombers and fighters.  

A segment on China Central Television (CCTV) reported that three marine frigates — two missile destroyers Changsha Frigate and Haikou Frigate and one supply ship — sailed into the East China Sea while China's naval air force dispatched aircraft to fly over the Miyako Strait to the waters in the West Pacific for a simulated attack.

CCTV reported that both sides of the simulation engaged in hours of confrontation in "virtually real combat situations."

It said the annual training and exercise program designed was not directed at any particular country or target.

No Live Fire
CCTV footage showed the flight of Xian H-6 bombers, jet fighters and three marine frigates in operation with naval officers and sailors operating gauges and weapon systems inside frigate cabins. Live fire footage was not shown.

Japan's Ministry of Defense also released evidence showing one early-warning plane, six bombers and six Chinese fighters flying from the air space over East China Sea into the air space between Okinawa and Miyakojima, and repeatedly flying over Miyako Strait.

Japan's air force scrambled jets to counter the possible intrusion into its airspace by the "largest number of airplanes" from a foreign country, according Japan's defense ministry.

Drill Fully Monitored by Taiwan
Taiwan's Defense Ministry took the initiative to release on Thursday information concerning the military drill in the East China Sea, stressing that the ministry was capable of closely monitoring the drill activities of China's marine and air forces although the drill was conducted far off Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone.

The ministry also issued a statement on Saturday, saying that the three Chinese marine frigates, after winding up their annual training program in the East China Sea near Miyakojima on Thursday, sailed through west of the median line of Taiwan Strait on Saturday noon before sailing southwest back toward China.

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