A naval formation consisting of aircraft carrier Liaoning has conducted take-off and landing drills in the South China Sea on Jan. 1, 2017. The formation, which is on a "cross-sea area" training exercise, involved J-15 fighter jets, as well as several ship-borne helicopters. (Photo: Navy.81.cn)
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is conducting intensive exercises with its new combat forces including two aircraft carriers and a 10,000 ton-class destroyer, with the Navy preparing to celebrate the 71st anniversary of its founding on Thursday.
As the Chinese Navy develops, the world should not forget that it is a force for peace no matter how strong it becomes, experts said on Wednesday.
The Liaoning aircraft carrier task group has cross-regionally mobilized in the South China Sea and is holding comprehensive back-to-back attack-defense mock battles. The Type 055 10,000 ton-class destroyer Nanchang is conducting real-combat oriented training including main gun firing in waters outside Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province, and the first domestically built aircraft carrier Shandong is organizing port exercises in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday.
These warships are the Navy's new combat forces, and they, among others, are actively training for combat in China's territorial waters as the anniversary approaches, Xinhua said.
In recent years, the Chinese Navy has been in a transforming development phase, focusing on building new combat forces, honing skills in fields like high-sea strike, underwater attack and defense, warship-aircraft integration and amphibious combat.
The Navy has recently commissioned new weapons like the Type 055, a new strategic nuclear-powered submarine, a domestically built aircraft carrier, comprehensive supplement ships and mass-produced aircraft carrier-based fighter jets, and new anti-submarine patrol aircraft, marking the modernization of the Chinese Navy.
With the new combat forces, the Navy's combat capability also saw new breakthroughs. Led by guided missile destroyer Hohhot earlier this year, a high-sea training flotilla under the PLA Southern Theater Command Navy held a 41-day exercise covering more than 14,000 nautical miles, competing more than 30 training courses, the report said, noting that the newly formed Marine Corps not only trained across China, but also followed ships and trained across the world, significantly boosting its combat capabilities.
The talent development program by the Chinese Navy has allowed young captains to participate in high sea combat patrols, escort missions or joint exercises, and 90 percent of them on main warships have experienced major missions, Xinhua said.
Zhang Junshe, a senior research fellow at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, told the Global Times on Wednesday that China will always walk the path of peaceful development, and no matter how it develops, it will apply its defensive national defense policy.
The development of the Chinese Navy has been providing the international community with more and more public security goods in the past decade, like escort missions in the Gulf of Aden, disaster relief and humanitarian aid missions, Zhang said.
The increasing capability of the Chinese Navy is a good thing, not a threat, for the world, Zhang said.