Not Wanting To Lose The US, China Sends Its Destroyers In The Indo-Pacific To Monitor Enemy Movements

Not Wanting To Lose The US, China Sends Its Destroyers In The Indo-Pacific To Monitor Enemy Movements
JS Murasame (DD 101) during the 2021 Japan-Vanuatu Goodwill Exercise. JMSDF Photo

International Military - Some time ago, the US reportedly sent the attack ship USS Annapolis to the Indo-Pacific region. On April 10, the US Navy announced that the USS Annapolis, a fast attack submarine, arrived at Naval Base Guam late last month.

Guam is a strategically important island in the Pacific Ocean west of Micronesia. Guam has become an important site of the US military presence in the Indo-Pacific. Guam is home to some of the most important munitions and fuel storage capabilities in the Indo-Pacific, as well as critical information, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) options and defenses for the island. In recent years, the US has stepped up its deployments with its allies around the island of Guam.

The Los Angeles-class submarine arrived in the port of Apra Guam on March 28 after completing its voyage from Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego. The US Navy stated that the move was necessary given the Indo-Pacific security environment that requires deploying the most capable vessels.

"This posture allows for a rapid response for maritime and joint forces, and brings our most capable ships and submarines with the greatest amount of strike power and operational capability to carry at the right time," the statement said.

On the other hand, it seems that China has also deployed its best destroyers in the Indo-Pacific region. Eurasian Times sources report that four of the largest and most modern destroyers have been observed off China's east coast.

The Chinese attack ship was even spotted when a US Navy carrier strike group was conducting military exercises with Japan near the Korean Peninsula. The four Chinese vessels have been identified by HI Sutton, an analyst at US Naval Defense Intelligence News as Renhai Type 055-class missile destroyers in waters near Qingdao, the headquarters of the northern naval fleet.

US and Japanese warships then conducted joint naval exercises in the waters between Japan and the Korean Peninsula for the first time in five years. The exercise was led by the carrier strike group USS Abraham Lincoln.

Japan Today reported that the drills were seen as a show of the close military alliance between the US and Japan amid speculation about North Korea's missile tests. The US 7th Fleet and Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force said on Wednesday that they were conducting joint naval exercises in the Sea of ​​Japan on Tuesday and Wednesday.

It was the first time a US aircraft carrier had held exercises in the area since 2017 and was seen as an apparent attempt to deter North Korean provocations. Defense experts had warned that North Korea could launch another missile or even conduct a nuclear test earlier this week as Pyongyang marks the birthday of its founding leader Kim Il Sung.

Tensions are also rising in the region ahead of annual joint military exercises between the US and South Korea. Japan has also stepped up joint military exercises with its closest ally, the US and regional partners in recent years.

This comes amid concerns over China's increasingly bold military actions in the territorial sea. In the past two years, China has commissioned the destroyers Nanchang, Lhasa, Anshan, and Wuxi.

China has produced a total of eight Type 055 destroyers, six of which have already been deployed, and the second type Lhasa is now reported to be just about ready for combat. Nanchang (101), the first Type 055 vessel, was launched in June 2017 and entered service in January 2020. Since then, China has built seven more in Dalian and Shanghai.

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