The PLA Navy was commended on Friday for successfully navigating Japan for the first time. The “first island chain blockade” is considered as the navy’s dream. Five Chinese navy vessels embarked on circumnavigating its neighbouring archipelago, passing through the borders of Japan and Russia in the north as well as those of Japan and Taiwan in the south. Although Japan’s Ministry of Defense admitted sighting the vessels, it said that none entered Japan’s territories.
According to Du Wenlong, senior researcher from the Academy of Military Science, the Chinese Navy is capable of sending and supporting its warships to navigate and fight in channels far from the continent as “the navy has crossed the first island chain through Bashi Channel, Miyako Strait, Osumi Strait, Tsugaru Strait, and now Soya Strait.” As the Chinese navy vessels returned on July 28, Du said that the fleet “crossed all the strongest parts on the chain.” The remarks were made on Friday, in time for the 86th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army.
With the feat of the Chinese Navy, Ou Jianping from the National Defense University commended that China should be viewed as a maritime state. “The Chinese navy must grow into a blue water navy because all of the aggression against China in modern times came from the sea,” the senior military expert added. Even Wu Dahui, a military and international studies expert at Tsinghua University, also believed that China is growing into a global power and “should have a navy that fits its status.” Xi Jinping, who took his presidential post in November, expressed that China “will remain on a path of peaceful development.” But he reminded that China’s love for peace doesn’t mean giving up their rights “especially those involving the nation’s core interests.”