Japan hypes PLA warships' frequent sorties 'with guilty conscience'

Global Times
Chen Zhuo
2021-11-25 08:58:23

By Liu Xuanzun

A ship-borne helicopter attached to a naval flotilla under the PLA Southern Theater Command takes off from the guided-missile frigate Hengyang (Hull 568) during a combined arms training exercise. The flotilla under training has traveled more than 8,000 nautical miles in over 30 days, conducting dozes of exercise items including air and missile defense, anti-terrorism and anti-piracy operation, and joint search and rescue. Photo: China Military Online

Japan has ramped up efforts to hype the "China threat theory" as it continued to issue press releases which showed that warships of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy made at least six transits in strategically important straits near Japan in less than two weeks. Experts said on Tuesday that Japan acted it out of its own guilty conscience as an excuse to modify its pacifist constitution and increase its defense budget.

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force spotted a Type 054A guided missile frigate of the PLA Navy on Friday as the Chinese warship made a transit in the Miyako Strait. On the same day, another PLA Navy Type 054A was spotted making a transit in the Tsushima Strait, according to two press releases issued by Japan's Ministry of Defense Joint Staff on Monday.

This is not the first time PLA warships have made similar voyages recently, as they have made at least six such transits in November alone, according to Japanese releases. These involved not only Type 054A guided missile frigates, but also Type 052D guided missile destroyers and a Type 903A comprehensive supply ship.

Earlier this year, other PLA warships, including the 10,000 ton-class large destroyer Type 055, transited through straits near Japan.

By publishing these PLA warship activities near Japan, the Japanese Defense Ministry is continuing to hype the "China threat theory" so it could amend its constitution, expand its armed forces and increase its military budget, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Japan is close to China, and Chinese warships are bound to sail through some international straits near it, analysts said, noting that China is aiming to build a blue-water navy, and the voyages could be exercises, patrols and escort missions.

Considering itself a major technological power, Japan now envies the PLA Navy's rapid development in recent years compared with the development of its own Maritime Self-Defense Force, Song said.

Japan should realize that China's military development is to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests, Song said, noting that this will not pose a threat to Japan, and Japan's hype of the "China threat theory" only exposes its own guilty conscience.

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is hosting the multinational exercise ANNUALEX in the Philippine Sea from November 21-30, with naval forces from Australia, Canada, Germany, and the US also participating. Experts said the drill is aimed at deterring China, and certain Japanese politicians and media wish to employ forces outside Asia to create trouble for China's rise.


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