THIS HEADLINE DOESN'T MEAN THE PHILIPPINES OR JAPAN GET A BREATHER
|U.S. Navy Photo of Chinese Destroyer HARBIN in San Diego Harbor by PO2 Felix Garza, USN|
PLA Navy concludes patrol, training in South China Sea
"A People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy fleet concluded patrol and training missions in the country's territorial waters in the South China Sea on Thursday.
The fleet entered the West Pacific on Thursday night through the Bashi Channel, located between Taiwan and the Philippines' Luzon Island, to continue its maritime training"
Link to complete article:.: http://www.china.org.cn/china/Off_the_Wire/2013-02/08/content_27918379.htm
Editors Note: This is the fleet that we reported getting underway last week. We were quite concerned then that it would generate a shooting incident with Japan or the Philippines. Initial maneuvers were in the China Seas but the warships did not enter the disputed waters. Prior to sailing, China had filed a suit with a UN court over its claims against its neighbors concerning the various disputed islands. During the exercises within the China Seas the task force practiced ship expulsion techniques, board and search , and similar drills related to typical sovereignty patrol operations.It probably would not have been a wise legal tactic to have used warships to intrude on the contested waters just as their case was filed. But the Philippines and Japan can't exhale yet. The fleet may have "concluded training in the China Seas but it did return to port. The fleet was last seen out bound for the PAcific. There it will drill for evolution connected with ship on ship blue water warfare/. Basically serving notice on the Japan, The United States and Australia that it will endure interferrence with its plans to take portion sof its neighbor's territory.Then there is the transit back into the China Seas from the Pacific when done, ther ewill be lots more opportunity for a quick dash into disputed waters for a navy on navy or navy on coast guard confrontation.The dragon is swimming.