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China Holding 4-Day Naval Exercise in Yellow Sea

BEIJING – China will hold live-fire naval exercises in the Yellow
Sea in the coming days, state media reported Aug. 29, after voicing
opposition to similar war games to be staged there by the United States
and South Korea.

The Beihai fleet of the People’s Liberation Army Navy will conduct a
“live ammunition drill” from Sept. 1 to Sept. 4 off the coast of
eastern China’s Qingdao city, Xinhua news agency reported.

“This is an annual routine training, mainly involving the
shooting of shipboard artillery,” said the report, citing China’s
defense ministry.
The United States and South Korea are planning
a new round of joint drills in the Yellow Sea in September in another
show of force against North Korea following the sinking of a South
Korean warship in March.
Any military drills involving the United
States in the Yellow Sea are a sensitive issue because of the area’s
proximity to China, and the disputed maritime boundary between South
and North Korea.
China has bristled at the idea of a U.S.
aircraft carrier group patrolling waters near its coast, although the
U.S. military has said the planned anti-submarine exercise in September
would not involve a carrier.
“This would be a fresh provocation
following a series of joint U.S.-[South Korean] activities that have
caused tensions in East Asia,” Chinese Rear Adm. Yang Yi said in an
Aug. 13 commentary in the China Daily.
“Offending Chinese people
is not in the fundamental interest of the U.S. … Any activity aimed
at pushing a country with a 1.3-billion populace with enormous
potential would be inadvisable.”
The United States and South
Korea have staged massive joint naval and air exercises in the nearby
Sea of Japan that were opposed by Beijing.
The drills followed
the sinking of the corvette Cheonan in March, which Seoul and its
allies say was caused by a North Korean torpedo attack.
China is
North Korea’s closest ally and trade partner, and Beijing has refused
to join in international condemnation of Pyongyang for the incident.
China
staged naval, air and artillery exercises late last month, although it
was not clear if the drills had been pre-planned or were in response to
the U.S.-South Korea exercises.
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