Combat air patrols over South China Sea

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http://www.news.com.au/world/belligerent-beijing-combat-air-patrols-over-south-china-sea-escorted-fishing-fleet-in-the-east-china-sea/news-story/1752ce3d63cc5cb8d5d4176dfa48510e

BEIJING has promised regular ‘combat air patrols’ over the South China Sea as a fleet of hundreds of fishing boats push into waters claimed by Japan in another escalation of tensions.

The People’s Liberation Army Navy and Air Force have been increasingly active after the international arbitration court last month ruled against Beijing’s claims to almost all of the East and South China Seas.

Government representatives reacted angrily to the verdict, dramatically escalating their war of words with the Philippines, Japan, the United States and Australia.

But Beijing’s actions have not been limited to words alone.

Activities in recent days are a continuation of the military posturing being used to assert Beijing’s expansive claims of territorial ownership.

The South China Morning Post reports a retired PLA colonel, Yue Gang, as saying much of China’s naval forces were now concentrated in the East China Sea.

“We need to maintain a certain level of [air] power in the South China Sea so we can throw a punch at any time,” Yue reportedly said.

Japan’s Coast Guard is reporting 14 Chinese government patrol vessels were counted yesterday in waters surrounding the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyus islands in the East China Sea northeast of Taiwan. Their numbers had been steadily increasing since the first was spotted in the area on Saturday.

The Chinese government ships, some armed, appear to be escorting a fishing fleet of 230 vessels. These have been operating provocatively within the 19km territorial boundary surrounding the islands which would normally mark an exclusive national economic zone.

China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on Saturday that China had indisputable sovereignty over the islands and nearby waters.

Tokyo has summoned Beijing’s ambassador Cheng Yonghau to explain the move.

Japan’s Defence Minister Tomomi Inada said his forces would respond with “vigilance, surveillance and the gathering of information, while continuing to act with calm, in order to resolutely protect our inherent land, sea and air territory, including the Senkaku Islands”.

A Japanese government source, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters that Japan’s coastguard had stepped up its own patrols but declined to give further details.

The move comes just days after Chinese forces finished a live-fire exercise with its North Sea Fleet.

———-

this is really heating up and the war drums can be heard in the background..

“Japan’s Coast Guard is reporting 14 Chinese government patrol vessels were counted yesterday in waters surrounding the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyus islands in the East China Sea northeast of Taiwan. Their numbers had been steadily increasing since the first was spotted in the area on Saturday.”

who will throw the lit match on the powderkeg?

“Government representatives reacted angrily to the verdict, dramatically escalating their war of words with the Philippines, Japan, the United States and Australia.”

401

~ by seeker401 on August 10, 2016.

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