The second aircraft carrier of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, the Shandong, is reportedly conducting intensive drills beyond the first island chain, reaching near Guam on the second island chain after completing Taiwan island encirclement drills last week.
The Shandong‘s ongoing exercise is comparable with, if not surpassing, those previously done by the country’s first carrier, the Liaoning, and showed its high level of operational capability.
Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force spotted a PLA Navy flotilla consisting of the Shandong, a Type 055 large destroyer, a Type 052D destroyer, two Type 054A frigates, a Type 901 comprehensive replenishment ship and a Type 903 comprehensive replenishment ship when they sailed in Pacific waters from April 10 to Sunday, Japan’s Ministry of Defense Joint Staff said in a press release on Monday.
In this period, the Shandong hosted about 140 fighter jet sorties and about 70 helicopter sorties, meaning that the carrier hosted about 210 aircraft sorties in a week. Global Times
Meanwhile, in Russia
Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has briefed the country’s President Vladimir Putin on the progress of a surprise inspection of the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet, saying that the troops participating in the event are on full combat readiness.
This follows US, Japan, Australia & French joint military drills in the Pacific a couple months ago and last week’s Chinese war games. The entire Russian Pacific Fleet including 167 warships and its nuclear capable bombers are involved in these drills in our back yard.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has authorized the Pacific warships to fully prepare and conduct military exercises.— Najibullah Farhodi (@Najib_Farhodi) April 15, 2023
These warships form an important part of the Russian Navy. pic.twitter.com/zK0mmpRbWE
And North Korea?
#Russia & #NorthKorea assist #China by pressuring US Pacific forces— Indo-Pacific News – Geo-Politics & Military News (@IndoPac_Info) April 18, 2023
Both nations took military actions that force the US military to spread its resources thinner.
Russia's Pacific fleet went on full alert status for snap combat exercises on Friday.https://t.co/c8lBPjEtzT