On March 30, 2015, the Chinese Air Force conducted a military training exercise in the Western Pacific ocean. In response to a Western media report, Zhang Junshe, a researcher at the Naval Research Institute of Military Science, published a commentary on People’s Daily overseas edition.
The article said, “Regarding the Chinese Air Force’s routine training in accordance with its annual training plan, Japan and some Western media had ulterior motives when they interpreted the events. A Japanese news agency claimed that the training had the purpose of showing off China’s air force to its neighbors. Some individual media also claimed that the move of the Chinese Air Force will likely exacerbate tensions in the South China Sea.”
Zhang argued, “Japan’s Self-Defense Air Force fighter and reconnaissance aircraft frequently hold activities in the Western Pacific and the East China Sea. U.S. Air Force fighter planes fly over the Western Pacific ocean all year long. [So why can’t China do the same?] ”
“China is a big maritime country, but not a maritime power. … Now, the Chinese navy and air force badly need to use far sea training to improve their sea defense combat capability. It is one of the objective needs in order for China to safeguard its national maritime security.”
“With the improvement of China’s comprehensive national strength and international status, China’s international responsibilities and the obligations required by the international community are also increasing. So it also requires China’s navy and air force to go to the far oceans and improve the capability of their ocean activity.”
“Finally, I hope some countries can look rationally at the development of China’s military power and the Chinese military’s normal training activities. … The concerned countries should gradually become accustomed to Chinese air and sea vessels’ conducting similar trainings in the far sea, instead of continually finding fault.”
Source: People’s Daily, April 1, 2015