, 2022-12-25 09:31:45,
China has stepped up its naval and air drills around the Nansei/Ryukyu Islands, ratcheting tensions alongside a rapidly re-arming Japan.
Japan News recently reported that a Chinese carrier battlegroup spearheaded by the Liaoning has been conducting naval drills simulating an attack on the Nansei/Ryukyu Islands since December 16, with the exercises set to end on December 26.
The Chinese Communist Party-run Global Times identifies the ships as the Type 055 cruiser Lhasa, the Type 052D destroyer Kaifeng, the Type 903A replenishment ship Taihu, and the hull number 796 electronic reconnaissance vessel.
Japan News notes that the Type 055 and Type 052D are capable of land attacks and that the Liaoning’s air wing has started nighttime take-off and landing drills.
The report cites the Japanese Ministry of Defense saying that China’s carrier battle group entered the Western Pacific on December 16, passing through Okinawa and the Miyako Strait. The following day, the vessels were spotted 260 kilometers west-southwest of Okidaito Island, with Japan reportedly last spotting them 450 kilometers off Kitadaito Island.
The source says ship-borne aircraft can reach the Nansei/Ryukyu Islands in five to 10 minutes from the last known location. It also mentions that China will rehearse long-range missile strikes on the Nansei/Ryukyu Islands, on which Japan plans to base long-range cruise missiles, and that 130 shipborne helicopter and aircraft landings have…
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