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War games held by China in Sea of Japan

BEIJING – Chinese planes and ships held war games in the Sea of Japan last week, the military said, during which Beijing displayed its latest-generation frigate at a time of bitter territorial disputes with Asian neighbors.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement on its website late Saturday that the long-range exercises staged Friday pitted a red army against a blue one in a simulated bomber attack on a naval task force.

It quoted the commander of an unidentified flight wing under the East Sea Fleet, Zhang Wenzhong, as saying the planes found, identified, and struck their targets in a “radically short time.”

The statement made no mention of what sort of conflict the exercise was intended as a response to, prospective foes, or why the Sea of Japan was chosen as the location of the drills.

However, China has grown increasingly assertive over its claim to a chain of uninhabited islands controlled by Japan, recently dispatching more than a dozen coast guard vessels as Chinese fishing vessels swarmed the surrounding waters. (AP)