26 March 2018
The Chinese Air Force has conducted a series of exercises in the contested South China Sea and the Western Pacific, where it sent fighter jets and bombers through Okinawa’s Miyako Strait on Friday, labeling the exercises “rehearsals for future wars.”
China is currently in the midst of a military modernization program heavily promoted by President Xi Jinping, who has overseen a shift in focus toward creating a more potent fighting force, including projects such as building a second aircraft carrier, integrating stealth fighters into its air force and fielding an array of advanced missiles that can strike air and sea targets from long distances.
Collin Koh, a specialist in regional naval affairs at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said that despite the harsh rhetoric, the talk of “combat training” mirrored past Chinese statements.
“This is not actually anything new — previous official statements by the Chinese political and military leadership had emphasized the need for training under realistic conditions, and in preparation for real war,” Koh noted.
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 28/03/2018