China Flexes Naval Muscle

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The Chinese Navy is holding large maneuvers in the South Pacific which include one of its aircraft carriers.

China’s navy has traditionally been “brown water”, meaning it can only operate in its immediate waters. With the growth in larger ships, China is attempting to operate within the Western Pacific as a whole. The Financial Times says:

China’s navy has launched its largest-ever manoeuvres with an aircraft carrier in the western Pacific, according to foreign defence officials and analysts, as Beijing flexes its military muscle to push back against the US and its allies.

The Shandong, the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s second aircraft carrier, was on course on Tuesday to converge with more than 20 other Chinese warships in waters between Taiwan, the Philippines and the US Pacific territory of Guam, said two Asian security officials.

China’s growing naval power is primarily directed at Taiwan. The presence of a carrier is itself proof of larger aspirations.Fox News continuesL

Displays of military power around Taiwan have become a regular strategy for China, often resorting to the practice when a Taiwanese official has an undesirable meeting with the U.S.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., outraged China last year when she visited Taiwan, becoming the first speaker to do so in 25 years. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy also met with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen earlier this year in California.

While China has invested in large numbers of ships, its crews are not as proficient as American and Allied ones. However, its ability to concentrate its fleet due to only having one coast could give them an edge.

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