Wednesday, November 03, 2010

CCTV's Jiaolong-2010 amphibious military exercise report

To start it off, here is today's New York Time "copy and paste, with added spice" write-up on yesterday's Global Times article (here).
November 3, 2010
China Stages Naval Exercises

BEIJING — China’s Marine Corps held major naval exercises on Tuesday in the South China Sea, state-run media reported on Wednesday, massing 1,800 troops and more than 100 ships, submarines and aircraft for a live-fire display of the nation’s growing military power.

The waters have been the scene of increased tensions between China and its neighbors this year over competing claims to islands and seabed mineral rights. But one prominent Chinese military analyst called the war games a routine annual event that was unrelated to those claims or recent American moves to shore up diplomatic ties with nations in the region.

The exercises, code-named Jiaolong 2010, were viewed by 200 military students from 40 nations who discussed the maneuvers with Chinese commanding officers, the Communist Party newspaper Global Times reported.

The newspaper quoted an unnamed officer as saying that the exercises were staged to showcase the marines, part of the People’s Liberation Army, and to gain advice from other nations’ militaries. It also quoted one military analyst, Li Jie, as saying that the maneuvers were staged in part because unnamed nations had intervened in the sea in recent years, “so it’s time to oppose these interventions with power politics.”

Chinese military officials accused the Pentagon of threatening China this summer after the United States announced plans to move an aircraft carrier into the Yellow Sea, not 400 miles from Beijing, for joint exercises with South Korea. In a conciliatory gesture, the Navy moved the exercises to the Sea of Japan.

But Chinese acrimony — which had flared early in the year when the United States announced a $6.7 billion deal to sell weapons to Taiwan — was only heightened by an American offer to mediate the territorial disputes over islands in the region.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who made the initial offer, repeated it last week during a stop in Hanoi, rejecting Chinese arguments that Washington was interfering in its diplomatic affairs.

A former submarine officer who is now a leading military analyst on state television, Song Xiaojun, insisted that the Chinese exercises should be taken at face value. “It’s an ordinary exercise,” he said, driven in part by the military’s need to test its rapidly growing arsenal of ships, aircraft and weapons.

“It’s better not to take this as a kind of opposition between different parties,” he said. “It’s not like we’re talking about World War I or World War II, when countries were busy building vessels and competing. Those days are gone.”

David Yang contributed research.

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