PLA exercises help ensure sovereignty

(China Daily) 09:02, August 31, 2021

Live-fire drills are response to foreign nations' provocative acts, observers say

The Chinese military's recent live-fire exercises in seas along the country's coasts were intended to display its determination and prowess in terms of safeguarding the nation's sovereignty, security and interests, observers said.

Wang Yanan, editor-in-chief of Aerospace Knowledge magazine and a military affairs observer, said on Sunday that the People's Liberation Army organized dozens of live-fire exercises at sea over the past several weeks in response to increased provocations from foreign militaries.

"Some foreign countries have sent their naval ships to the South China Sea in the past few months to flex their muscles, alienate China and its neighbors and even attempt to surreptitiously embolden Taiwan secessionists," he said. "It is equally important for us to use diplomatic methods to show our stance and make military responses to let them know our resolve and capability of protecting our territorial integrity and interests."

The number of PLA exercises is closely related to challenges and threats to China's sovereignty, security and interests, Wang said.

"The number of our live-fire drills, like that of our carrier battle groups, depends to a certain extent on the level of threats and provocations we face," he said.

"Those who instigate tension and antagonism in our seas had better get used to more exercises by the Chinese military taking place alongside theirs, and if they can't get used to that fact, they might as well stop their irresponsible, provocative actions on our doorstep and go back home to mind their own business."

Cui Yiliang, a well-informed observer in Beijing, said the recent exercises should have served multiple purposes.

"First, they could test, hone and improve the PLA commanding headquarters' skills and knowledge about arranging and managing several large, sophisticated operations simultaneously," he said. "Second, such exercises involved various service branches, including the Air Force, Navy and Rocket Force, thus bolstering troops' joint operation capability. Third, they could function as a sort of warning to foreign forces and Taiwan secessionists who seek to challenge us and make trouble."

Cao Weidong, a retired researcher at the PLA Naval Research Academy, told China Central Television on Saturday that authorities in Taiwan should understand that attempts to cross the "red line" set by the mainland are extremely dangerous because the PLA has never promised to drop military means when it comes to handling contingencies on the island.

"If you continue walking down this doomed path and approach the red line, we will definitely take actions," Cao said. "And such exercises will become even more frequent and larger."

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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