US, Japan, Australia hold first joint command post drill ‘with China in mind’
Published: Dec 05, 2023 08:35 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Japan, the US and Australia recently launched their first trilateral command post drill that aims to boost the defense of Japan "with China in mind," a move Chinese experts said on Tuesday reflects the three countries' groundless, dangerous obsession in hyping the "China threat" theory.

Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the US and Australian militaries on Monday held an opening ceremony for the Yama Sakura joint command post exercise at Camp Asaka of the Ground Self-Defense Force on Monday, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported on the day.

The Yama Sakura exercises have been held by the Ground Self-Defense Force and the US Army since 1982, and this is the first time the Australian military is taking part, NHK reported.

In the exercise that is set to last until December 13, participants will confirm procedures for sending troops to Japan from the US and Australia if Japan is attacked and working with Self-Defense Forces personnel to defend the country, NHK quoted officers as saying.

NHK noted that the three countries' defense chiefs in June agreed to expand joint drills "with an eye on China's increasing maritime activities."

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the trilateral exercise sees China as an imaginary enemy.

Ground forces of the US, Japan and Australia are transforming to become ready for amphibious combat, and some of them have long-range strike capabilities, Song said.

The three countries imagine that in a possible confrontation with China, they would need to fight under a system that consists of all military services and branches, so not only their maritime and air forces, but also ground forces are holding joint exercises, Song said.

China follows a national defense policy that is defensive in nature, not to mention that China does not share a land border with either Japan, the US or Australia, so there is no scenario in which the three countries' armed forces, particularly ground forces, would be required to face the Chinese military, other than them starting a fight first, like intervening in the Taiwan question, analysts said.

Some Western countries have become obsessed with hyping the "China threat" theory, and are targeting everything they do against China without any convincing reasons, another Chinese military expert, who requested anonymity, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The truth is that the US and its allies are using the "China threat" theory as an excuse to maintain military hegemony, at the cost of other countries' rightful security concerns, the expert said.