PLA Navy starts live-ammunition training in west Pacific

19:08, June 30, 2010      

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Chinese military authorities announced Wednesday the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has begun an annual routine live-ammunition training in the East China Sea.

The No. 91765 unit of the Navy's East China Sea Fleet commenced the training off the coast of southeast China's Zhejiang Province Wednesday, a statement released by the ministry said.

The training involves naval vessels shooting targets in China's eight fishery zones that are within China's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and also where the U.S. military has repeatedly sent ships and aircraft for reconnaissance missions.

Vessels are prohibited from entering the fishery zones during the live-ammunition training and must obey the instructions of the Navy ships, the statement said.

China recognizes 12-nautical-mile-wide territorial waters and regards the 200-nautical-mile-wide EEZ under its jurisdiction in line with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

"The PLA always publicizes a notice when it conducts live-ammunition training in waters under China's jurisdiction to ensure aircraft and vessels pass safely," the official said.

The training is being conducted ahead of planned anti-submarine war games by U.S. and the ROK in the Yellow Sea close to east China's Shandong Province.

The training has nothing to do with the upcoming joint exercises between the United States and Republic of Korea (ROK) in the Yellow Sea on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, a Ministry of National Defense spokesman who declined to be identified told Xinhua.

"It's annual and routine live-ammunition training," the official said, denying any connection with the planned U.S.-ROK exercises, in which the U.S. is considering sending its nuclear-powered super aircraft carrier, the USS George Washington, to participate.

Chinese websites and BBS forums have been flooded with furious criticism of the planned U.S.-ROK war games.

Many of the Internet users are unhappy with the prospect of the U.S. forward-deployed super aircraft carrier entering the Yellow Sea, which would bring the Chinese capital, Beijing, within its striking distance.



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