End Times News Update
Sign: Kings of the East (status of Chinese forces) / Rumors of War
Scripture: Rev 16:12 / Matthew 24:6
News Source: My Way News
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China military launches major air exercises

Aug 3, 3:25 AM (ET)
By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN

BEIJING (AP) – China’s military launched major air defense exercises
Tuesday, highlighting rising capabilities that are seen as tipping the
balance of power in east Asia.

The drills involve more than 10,000 service members, including those
from naval and army aviation units and land-based air defense forces,
according to the official China News Service.

CNS said the war games would run for five days over parts of the
provinces of Shandong and Henan south of the capital Beijing. They
will include three simulated attacks and one live-firing exercise
designed around the scenario of defending the capital from an air
assault.

No rehearsals were held for the exercises, which will emphasize
real-time responses to unplanned events and the integration of units
under separate commands, CNS said. About 100 aircraft of seven
different types will take part, along with air defense missiles and
artillery units.

Amid a boom in defense spending, China has lavished funds on its air
force, navy and missile forces in recent years as part of a gradual
shift away from ground units. The widely respected Stockholm
International Peace Research Institute estimates total expenditures on
the 2.3 million-member People’s Liberation Army, including funding for
arms imports and defense research and development, reached nearly $100
billion last year.

New additions to its air forces include SU-27 fighter-bombers
purchased from Russia and produced under license by China, along with
the homebuilt latest-generation J-10 fighter that Beijing touts as a
breakthrough for its sprawling defense industry.

Such hardware and China’s adoption of more effective training and
tactics is widely seen as strengthening China’s ability to assert its
territorial claims over Taiwan and the South China Sea. Military
planners from New Delhi to Washington have taken note, fueling calls
for more attention to Chinese developments and increased regional
cooperation with the U.S. military.

While tensions with Taiwan have declined under the island’s relatively
pro-Beijing administration, China has grown increasingly vocal in
protesting U.S. naval operations off its coast.

Beijing repeatedly criticized last month’s joint U.S.-South Korean
exercises in the Yellow Sea and recently elevated the South China Sea
– over which it claims complete sovereignty – to its list of high
priority territorial claims.

Such moves coincides with a willingness to send its navy further from
shore, including the unprecedented dispatch of Chinese ships to join
an anti-piracy flotilla off the coast of Somalia.

As troops readied for Tuesday’s exercises, two of those ships, the
destroyer Guangzhou and frigate Chaohu, docked in Italy as part of a
three-nation goodwill cruise, the government’s Xinhua News Agency
reported.

Overseas visits and more realistic exercises are both aimed at
boosting the PLA’s ability to project power and improve cooperation
between its different branches, said Russell Smith, an analyst with
Jane’s and former Australian defense attache in Beijing.

“These are opportunities to practice conducting joint operations. I
think you’re going to be more reorganizing and restructuring in the
PLA to emphasize this,” Smith said.

Source: My Way News
URL:
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100803/D9HBS9080.html

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