Three of the largest submarines of the US Seventh Fleet surfaced in Asia-Pacific ports last week, the South China Morning Post reported Monday.
The appearance of the USS Michigan in Pusan, South Korea, the USS Ohio in Subic Bay, the Philippines, and the USS Florida in the strategic Indian Ocean outpost of Diego Garcia was a show of force not seen since the end of the Cold War, the paper said, adding that the position of those three ports looks like a siege of China.
The report came as the US and South Korea announced early June a joint military exercise in the Yellow Sea amid mounting tension on the Korean Peninsula.
On June 28, South Korea postponed the anti-submarine drill, originally planned to run last month, to July, to ensure US attendance, globalresearch.ca reported.
Beijing has objected to the proposed war game that may involve US carriers.
General Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), said that the location of the drill is very close to Chinese territorial waters.
Xu Guangyu, a senior researcher at the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told the Global Times that the alleged military operation would not only escalate tension between the two Koreas, but also exert negative influence on Sino- US military relations.
“The joint military drill is not an irreplaceable measure for Washington to support Seoul on punishing Pyongyang over the alleged torpedoing of the warship Cheonan,” he said.
“China’s position on the Yellow Sea issue demonstrates its resolution to safeguard national rights and interests,” said Xu Guangqian, a military strategist at the PLA Academy of Military Sciences. “It also reflects that China is increasingly aware of the fact that its strategic space has confronted threats from other countries.”
Meanwhile, the US strengthened its relations with other allied countries in the Pacific region by conducting another war game.
The Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC 2010), which is hosted and managed by the US Navy, launched June 23 as ships, aircraft and military personnel from 14 nations poured into Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to participate, suite101.com reported.
The exercises will be conducted until August 1.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Vostok-2010 military exercises in Siberia and the country’s far east kicked off June 29 and will continue until July 8.
Analysts suggest that the concentration of military drills at the current time is not just a coincidence, but represents the uneasiness of some regional powers amid the rise of China.