18 July 2016
An area off the east coast of China’s island province of Hainan will host military exercises from Tuesday to Thursday, Hainan’s maritime administration said Monday on its website.
The short announcement included the dates of the drill, the geographic coordinates of the area, and the terse warning: “Entering prohibited.”
The announcement came during the visit of the US Navy Chief Admiral John Richardson to the Chinese capital to discuss with his Chinese counterpart Wu Shengli the South China Sea disputes and ways to boost interactions between the two militaries.
We will never sacrifice our sovereignty and interests in the South China Sea,” Wu said, stressing that it is China’s “core interest” and concerns the foundation of the Party’s governance, the country’s security and stability and the Chinese nation’s basic interests.
Last Tuesday, China rejected the ruling by the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration in a case initiated by the Philippines, and says it could declare an air defence identification zone over the waters if it felt threatened.
In the days following the ruling, Beijing landed two civilian aircraft on new airstrips on disputed Mischief and Subi reefs and dispatched its coast guard to block Philippine fishing boats from a contested shoal.
The maritime administration also announced last week that four out of five lighthouses built atop islands and reefs in the sea have been activated, and a fifth would be put into use soon.
Contributed by Hue Viet.
Facts on the ground and on the waters: https://seasresearch.wordpress.com/category/south-china-sea-facts-on-the-ground-and-on-the-waters/
Militarization in the South China Sea: https://seasresearch.wordpress.com/category/events-and-analyses/militarization-in-the-south-china-sea/