07 April 2018
The People’s Liberation Army Navy has been on a roll over the past month, staging successive air, naval and marine amphibious assault exercises across the Western Pacific.
Clearly, there should be no dispute among naval observers that the formation in which the fleet sailed amounted to what can be termed a photo and PR exercise.
Some dismissed the manoeuvres as a propaganda exercise designed to flaunt the navy’s muscle, but others cautioned this could imply the PLA Navy has intensified its peacetime combat readiness and training.
The increasing power of China’s navy and its enhanced combat readiness should not be kept off everyone’s radar. It remains a force with an increasingly large shadow, ready to weigh in at any point of confrontation at sea with Beijing’s rivals. While not overexaggerating this threat, we should ignore this growing Chinese naval challenge at our peril.
… Koh Swee Lean Collin is a research fellow at the maritime security programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 09/04/2018