Navy starts training in East China Sea

08:04, July 01, 2010      

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The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has begun conducting its annual live ammunition drill in the East China Sea, Chinese military authorities announced on Wednesday.

The No 91765 unit of the Navy's East China Sea Fleet started training off the coast of East China's Zhejiang province on Wednesday, a statement released by the Ministry of National Defense said.

The training involves naval vessels shooting at targets in eight fishery zones within China's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), where the US military has repeatedly sent ships and aircraft for reconnaissance missions.

Vessels are prohibited from entering the fishery zones during the ammunition drill 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 to be under its jurisdiction, in accordance 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," a ministry official said.

The training is being held ahead of planned anti-submarine war games by the United States and the Republic of Korea (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 US and the ROK in the Yellow Sea, a Ministry of National Defense spokesman, who declined to be named, told Xinhua.

"It's annual and routine live ammunition training," the official said.

The US is considering sending its nuclear-powered super aircraft carrier, the USS George Washington, to participate in the Yellow Sea drill.

Chinese websites and forums have been flooded with criticism of the planned US-ROK war games.

Many of the Internet users are unhappy with the prospect of the US super aircraft carrier entering the Yellow Sea, which will bring Beijing, the Chinese capital, within striking distance.

Source:China Daily


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