Beijing: China on Wednesday launched live-fire
naval exercises in the Yellow Sea, state media said, after
voicing opposition to similar war games to be staged there by
the United States and South Korea.
The Beihai fleet of the navy of the People`s
Liberation Army will conduct a "live ammunition drill" through
Saturday in waters off the eastern coast near the city of
Qingdao, Xinhua news agency reported.
The report said many of the planes, vessels and
battlefield weaponry to be used in the exercises were unveiled
at the National Day military parade on October 1 last year,
when China celebrated 60 years of Communist rule.
"This is an annual routine training, mainly involving
the shooting of shipboard artillery," Xinhua said in a
previous report, citing China`s defence ministry.
The United States and South Korea are set to carry out
a new round of joint drills in the Yellow Sea beginning
Sunday, 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
North and South Korea.
China has bristled at the idea of a US aircraft
carrier group patrolling waters near its coast, although the
US military has said the planned anti-submarine exercise would
not involve a carrier.
The United States and South Korea in July staged
massive joint naval and air exercises in the nearby Sea of
Japan (East Sea), which also drew criticism from Beijing --
North Korea`s closest ally and trade partner.