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Chinese navy teams up with coastguard in rare joint missile exercise

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The PLA naval division in charge of the Taiwan Strait and the East China Sea conducted a rare joint exercise with a regional coastguard unit, the navy said on Monday, without saying when or where it took place.

The exercise simulated a joint air and sea response to an enemy missile attack on a frigate flotilla from the Eastern Theatre Command. The participants also practised countering “violent resistance” to law enforcement activities.

The “interdisciplinary and overnight” drill was aimed at improving their “coordination and combat capacity”, according to a post on the navy’s WeChat social media account.

The Eastern Theatre Command – one of the People’s Liberation Army’s five divisions – oversees the security of Shanghai and five eastern Chinese provinces, the East China Sea, and the Taiwan Strait.

It conducts regular drills in the strait, but the exercises do not usually involve the coastguard, a paramilitary force that is part of the People’s Armed Police Force.

02:16

Japan’s military holds drill on island potentially vulnerable to China

Japan’s military holds drill on island potentially vulnerable to China

The post said the joint exercise involved the navy’s Ezhou and Yiwu corvettes. Pictures in the post also showed coastguard vessel 11506, based in Jiangsu province.

The coastguard should “effectively” enforce China’s laws and “resolutely defend” its territorial sovereignty, he told the paramilitary force.

The force, which is used mainly for search and rescue and other maritime policing functions, has been on the front line of tensions in the East and South China seas, particularly with repeated face-offs occurred between China and Japan near the Diaoyu Islands, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan.

02:20

Two mainland Chinese fishermen drown after Taiwan coastguard pursuit

Two mainland Chinese fishermen drown after Taiwan coastguard pursuit

They include the deaths of two mainland Chinese fishermen whose boat capsized during a chase by Taiwanese patrol vessels near Quemoy, also known as Kinmen.

Beijing accused the Taiwanese coastguard of using “violent and dangerous methods” in the pursuit while Taipei insisted its coastguard followed legitimate procedures and the speedboat had entered its “prohibited waters”.

The mainland considers Taiwan to be part of its territory which must be reunited, by force if necessary. Most countries – including the United States, Taipei’s informal ally and top arms supplier – do not recognise Taiwan as an independent state.

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