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HomeAsiaChina steps up Coast Guard patrols near Japanese islands

China steps up Coast Guard patrols near Japanese islands

'Quick read' news summary

Chinese vessels have intensified activities around Japan this week, sending a clear message of deterrence after Tokyo designated Beijing an unprecedented “strategic challenge” in its latest National Security Strategy.

On Dec. 16 Japan unveiled three major defense-related documents, which named China as a main challenge to security and stability in the region and called for boosting Japan’s “counter-strike capabilities.”

The Chinese Coast Guard said on WeChat that its ships patrolled “in the Chinese territorial waters surrounding the Diaoyu islands on Wednesday,” using the Chinese name for the Senkaku islands which are under Japan’s control but are also claimed by China.

Territorial waters are the areas within 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) of island coasts.

Japan has yet to respond but Tokyo has repeatedly accused Beijing of violating its sovereignty over the Senkaku islands.

Meanwhile the Japanese Ministry of Defense Joint Staff said in a press release on Wednesday that the aircraft carrier Liaoning of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and escorting warships have been conducting drills in the West Pacific since Dec. 16.

Between Saturday and Tuesday, the Liaoning hosted about 130 aircraft sorties while operating around Okidaito island and Kitadaito island south of Japan, it said.

The Liaoning carrier group consists of two Type 055 large missile destroyers and a number of other vessels.

“The Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier Liaoning of the Chinese Navy was confirmed to have made approximately 130 take-offs and landings during this period, including approximately 60 by fighter aircraft and 70 by helicopters,” the press release stated.

This was more than twice the

Chinese vessels have intensified activities around Japan this week, sending a clear message of deterrence after Tokyo designated Beijing an unprecedented “strategic challenge” in its latest National Security Strategy. Japan has yet to respond but Tokyo has repeatedly accused Beijing of violating its sovereignty over the Senkaku islands. The Liaoning carrier group consists of two Type 055 large missile destroyers and a number of other vessels.

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