Date: Jun 10, 2015
Chinese warships and aircraft on Wednesday passed through the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines to hold routine planned exercises in the Western Pacific, China’s Defense Ministry said.
China’s increasingly assertive moves to press sovereignty claims in the East and South China Sea have rattled the region and aroused concern in Washington, although the country says it has no hostile intent.
China has overlapping claims with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei in the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year.
Wednesday’s drills could cause alarm because of their location.
China claims self-ruled and democratic Taiwan as its own and has never renounced the use of force to gain control, while China and the Philippines have one of the most bitter disputes over the South China Sea of all the claimants.
The joint drills tested and perfected battle strategies and “achieved their expected aims”, navy spokesman Liang Yang said in a ministry statement. [FULL STORY]