China’s new exercises near Taiwan with anti-ship cruise missiles

Beijing, Feb 1 (EFE).- In recent days, the Chinese Army has carried out training exercises near Taiwan in which, according to the local press today, the participation of the YJ subsonic anti-ship cruise missiles stood out. 62.

The maneuvers took place last week “in a coastal region” of the eastern province of Fujian “to test the reaction capabilities of the troops,” spokesman Wu Qian of the Chinese military ministry said of these exercises.

In them, the YJ-62 subsonic anti-ship cruise missile was tested, which is attributed a range of up to 400 kilometers and whose presence, expert Fu Qianshao comments to the newspaper Global Times today, is “a deterrent message” against Taiwan, an island over which China claims sovereignty.

“These missiles are ‘sea skimmers’, that is, they can fly at a low enough altitude to avoid being detected and intercepted by radars. It is a powerful weapon for China’s defense and maritime combat,” Fu said. diary.

The YJ-62, developed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation, entered service in 2004 and was first tested aboard the destroyer Lanzhou.

Although experts estimate that it is not the most advanced projectile in the Chinese arsenal, it can attack surface ships of all classes and types, and can be used day or night, in any weather.

It is also ideal for coastal defense by using a transporter erector launcher to transport them.

During the exercises, state television CCTV adds, “emergency situations” were also simulated, such as power outages and air attacks by hostile forces, to test the reaction capabilities of the Chinese Army.

According to expert Fu, the maneuvers were a “deterrent” measure against “secessionists who advocate Taiwan’s independence,” as well as “against external forces that intentionally provoke and sabotage China’s reunification process.”

For his part, military spokesman Wu stressed that the exercises in the air and maritime space near Taiwan are “necessary” to “improve the combat training of our troops” with a view to “strengthening our ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

“The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will continue to organize this type of military maneuvers on a regular basis,” he said in a recent press conference.

Furthermore, the exercises took place shortly after the American destroyer USS John Finn transited the Taiwan Strait on January 24, a maneuver that, as usual, received criticism from Chinese spokespersons.

The passage of the USS John Finn was the first movement of a US warship through the area since last January 13, when the island held a presidential election in which the official candidate, Vice President William Lai (Lai Ching-te) , won with 40% of the votes.

“The Arleigh Burke USS John Finn sailed through the waters of the Taiwan Strait on January 24 with the aim of creating a stir and seeking notoriety. We organized troops to supervise its passage. We will remain alert,” military spokesman Shi Yi said at the time.

For its part, the Taiwanese Army has carried out combat preparation maneuvers this week in its waters as a scenario to carry out a “joint fire attack”, according to the CNA news agency.

Taiwan – where the Chinese nationalist army withdrew after defeat at the hands of communist troops in the civil war – has been governed autonomously since 1949, although China claims sovereignty over the island, which it considers a rebellious province for whose “reunification” has not ruled out the use of force.

“Taiwan will never be a country. ‘Taiwan independence’ and attempts by foreign forces to divide China will never succeed. The reunification of China requires the return of Taiwan. The PLA will speak with actions and will be a great iron wall” , reiterated spokesman Wu after ensuring that “the legal status and the fact that Taiwan is part of China have never changed.” EFE