Tokyo: The US and Japan issued a stern warning to China via exercise Keen Sword, which involved the participation of a whopping 36,000 soldiers, aircraft carriers, helicopter carriers and fighter jets. In the past year, China has bolstered its military might significantly and has ratcheted up military activities as well. Using military leverage, China is infiltrating into territories of neighbouring nations as also trying to threaten and pressurise them. However, China’s activities, which are aimed at domination, are receiving an open challenge from the US and neighbouring nations. Also, the recent exercise is an expression of the same sentiment.
On Monday, the joint exercise Keen Sword 21 began in Japanese territorial waters. From the US, the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its carrier strike group, more than 100 fighter and military jets, as well as 9,000 troops from the Marine Corps and three services of the US armed forces, have participated in the drills. On the other hand, the exercise saw participation from helicopter carrier JS Kaga – Japan’s largest warship and other prominent battleships, fighter jets, helicopters, submarines and nearly 35,000 soldiers. The drills will go on till November 5 and include cyber as even electronic warfare training. Japanese military sources said the objective behind the joint exercise was to train the forces for repelling sudden attacks on islands within Japanese territory.
Japanese Army chief Gen Koji Yamazaki clearly stated that the exercise was meant to send a message to China. The Army chief said, ‘The situation around Japan is deteriorating rapidly, and this is the right opportunity for a show of force of the US-led front’. At the time, Senior US official Lieutenant General Kevin Schneider underscored the growing threat posed by China. Lt Gen Schneider warned that ‘The growing military movements in the South China Sea and activities against Taiwan are a cause for concern for the US and Japan’.
A severe reaction has emerged from the Chinese media over the US-Japan joint exercise. Chinese analyst Li Haidong alleged that ‘The US and Japan are openly demonstrating their opposition to China. The new exercise appears a preparation for war against China over the Senkaku Islands.’ Besides, the Chinese government mouthpiece Global Times said the US-Japan exercise was alarming and threatening for its neighbouring nations and expressed concerns over it. The statements nevertheless have demonstrated the Chinese Communist regime’s rising nervousness.
In the past few months, China has ramped up activities in the South China Sea and Indo-Pacific. China’s actions can be attributed to its ambition for controlling and dominating the entire South and the East China Sea. China is repeatedly making an aggressive show of force in the Indo-Pacific. Furthermore, Chinese destroyers, submarines and patrol ships in the East China Sea near Japanese waters are trying to challenge the country’s sovereignty. In May, China had deployed aircraft carrier Liaoning and its strike group near Japan in the East China Sea. A few Chinese fighter jets were found to have violated Japanese airspace as well. Considering the recent developments, the new exercise between the US and Japan has drawn much attention to itself.