The US Navy reported from Japan that China deployed the aircraft carrier Shandong to lead an aircraft carrier formation of six ships to conduct so-called combat-oriented military exercises in the Western Pacific.
On Dec. 15th, the aircraft carrier formation was seen sailing southeast in the west area of the Danzhou Islands in eastern China. On Dec. 16th, it crossed the Miyako Strait and sailed south into the Pacific Ocean.
Between December 19th and 20th, the aircraft carrier conducted full-day flight operations with J-15 fighter jets, Z-9 and Z-18 helicopters.
On Dec. 20th and 21th, the aircraft carrier Liaoning, the 055 large destroyer Nanchang, the 052D destroyer Luyang III, two 054A frigates and one 901, composed of supply ships sailed southeast of Japan’s Okinawa island, about 196 miles from it.
This came just three weeks after former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on December 1st warned that “a Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency, and therefore an emergency for the Japan-U.S. alliance.”
The Chinese aircraft carrier flotilla proved Abe’s words were more than accurate.
The CCP’s English mouthpiece “Global Times” bragged that its naval aircraft carrier presence on the front lines has a capability that can be used to intercept and defeat the US and Japanese forces that tend to defend Taiwan.
The newspaper quoted military experts saying that if foreign forces such as the US and Japan intervened in the conflict over the Taiwan Strait, the Western Pacific would be a significant battleground potential because the CCP’s aircraft carrier can take a favorable position here to fend off foreign forces. At the same time, it can move from the east and encircle Taiwan’s island.
In peacetime, the Chinese Navy can go to Taiwan and the waters east of Japan whenever it wants, since it’s open seas. The CCP can simply claim freedom of navigation exercises, like ships of all nations, as long as the fuel can support them to go that far.
Da Ji Yuan reminded that the CCP is enjoying its freedom of navigation freely in international waters while contesting other nations’ rights to enter the open waters in the East and South China Seas. And this was that Chinese naval vessels have repeatedly passed through the Miyako Strait without notifying Japan.
However, in a state of war, it is difficult to say whether the CCP’s fleet can achieve the combat purpose as the CCP’s military experts believe. Because then, the Miyako Strait will not be as gentle to the Chinese naval fleet.
The widest part of the Miyako Strait is only 200km, Taiwan and Japan have many anti-ship missiles of all kinds that can cover the entire Miyako Strait.
Da Ji Yuan noted that the posture of the Chinese Communist Party’s aircraft carrier seems to indicate that it can project power from this area and carry out air strikes on Japan or Taiwan. This is because the CCP replicated the US aircraft carrier battle group. And like the US Navy, destroyers and frigates escort the aircraft carrier when it attacks.
As Japan monitored the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning, it found out that their main combat capabilities are concentrated on 24 J-15 fighters, in addition to 26 helicopters.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Izumo light aircraft carrier is usually estimated to be able to carry 20 F-35B stealth fighters, which can reduce the number of anti-submarine helicopters and make room for F-35B aircrafts when fighting ships or air. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force said that they only needed 12 to 16 F-35bs to handle China’s 24 J-15s.
The Global Times added that the J-15 has been significantly upgraded with new radars, weapon mounts, and more. But in reality, there is a one-way transparent relationship between the invisible J-15 and the invisible F-35, and the J-15 will have no time to see the F-35 even before it is destroyed.
Da Ji Yuan then raised questions on China’s deployment of J-15 instead of its new J-20 generations. The paper reminded that China had boasted about them being able to dodge detection but yet have never actually been outside of the country. This ambiguity might be to cover J-20’s insignificant capacities. The US had evaluated that China’s J-20 are just as that of its F-22 or F-35 fighter jets.
Meanwhile, China’s deployment also came as the US Navy’s Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group was still performing its deployment in the Western Pacific.
Some fans had expected that if the Chinese fleets proceed to the South China Sea, the US navy may have a glimpse at their capacities and better prepare for defeating the CCP. But Da Ji Yuan reported that such prospects might be highly unlikely.