As the US has currently logged more COVID-19 cases than any other country, China has ceased reporting new instances of the disease, lifting the 76-day lockdown of its city of Wuhan, which was once the epicenter of the pandemic.
Amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, China recently conducted naval drills in the South China Sea, as the People’s Liberation Army seeks to boost its coastal capabilities in the Pacific, writes Newsweek, citing the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s Global Times newspaper.
In May, Type 22 missile boats were deployed to the area for four days of live-fire exercises.
The drills were said to involve warfighting scenarios seeking to enhance the coast combat skills of the vessels along the coast, as well as counter-mining, damage control and rescue operations.
Referred to as “HOUBEI-class wave-piercing catamaran missile patrol boats” by the Pentagon, the stealth and speed of the Type 22 fleet are what allows it to overcome larger targets such as aircraft carriers, such as those deployed to the Pacific by Washington.
The drills were carried out in a region which is a sticking point in relations between Washington and Beijing.
The waters of the South China Sea, which are disputed by five countries and Taiwan but mostly controlled by Beijing, are frequently visited by US Navy ships that Washington claims are conducting freedom of navigation operations.
The passage of US destroyers and aircraft carriers near the disputed islands has angered the Chinese…