Chinese navy puts on show of force in live-fire South China Sea drills, as US prepares for regional exercisesApril 6, 2018
BEIJING — The Chinese navy launched an unprecedented week-long series of live-fire drills in the South China Sea on Thursday (April 5), as three US aircraft carrier battle groups prepare for their own exercises in the Asia-Pacific region.
The drills overlap with this weekend’s Boao Forum for Asia which starts on Sunday in the southern island of Hainan, not far from the site of the Chinese naval exercises. Military analysts said the drills, which involve the Liaoning aircraft carrier and more than 40 vessels from the North, East and South Sea fleets, were a show of China’s military muscle.
“China wants to show the outside world its determination to defend the fruits of its economic reforms over the past 40 years,” Beijing-based military analyst Zhou Chenming said. “Like the US, China’s military might is one of the government’s political tools to protect the country’s national interests.”