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Chinese Destroyer on Long-Distance Exercises in Sea of Japan

Voice of America News reports: “One of China’s largest and most capable combat ships is conducting long-distance exercises in the Sea of Japan, state media reported Thursday, in a display of China’s increasing naval reach.

The Communist Party newspaper Global Times said the mission was the first for the Type 055 destroyer Lhasa since its commissioning last year.

It is accompanied by the Luyang-class Type 052D destroyer Chengdu and the Type 903 oiler Dongpinghu, the paper said, citing Japan’s Defense Ministry. The Sea of Japan lies to the north of China between the Japanese archipelago, Sakhalin Island, the Korean Peninsula and the Russian Far East mainland.

Japan’s Defense Ministry said the three ships were spotted about 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of Fukue island in Nagasaki on Sunday traveling east toward the Sea of Japan.

It said it also spotted a Dongdiao-class intelligence ship on Sunday operating near the Tsushima Strait which later sailed into the Sea of Japan.

China’s navy has been building ships at a furious pace and now boasts the largest naval force in the world by number of hulls…”

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