China Holds Naval Exercises in Response to Drills by Australia, the Philippines, Japan, and the U.S.

The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Southern Command conducted naval and aerial exercises on the same day as the United States, Australia, Japan, and Philippine naval exercises today, April 7th.

The joint exercises between the four nations have been described by Global Times analysts¬† as a “defiant” and “muscle flexing” move against China, a show of force attempt amid rising tensions in the region.

Global Times analysts claimed China’s response is a “tit-for-tat” response, suggesting China’s firmness and determination to protect its interests within the South China Sea and showing the PLA is prepared to respond to any contingency.

The Chinese drill also occurred before the gathering of U.S. President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on April 11th in the White House.