BEIJINGI: China has revealed that it held secret combat drills with all three of its naval fleets in September, but kept the exercise under wraps as it didn't want to provoke South Korea at a time when Seoul's ally, the US, hadn't yet decided on deploying the THAAD missile defense system there, Chinese state-run media reported today.
The drill in the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Sea involved more than a 100 vessels and several warplanes. All three of China 's fleets -South Sea, East Sea and North Sea fleets - participated in the drill.
China was hoping South Korea would decide not to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system, said Li Jie, a Beijing-based military expert, told media. But on September 27, the US said it will deploy THAAD in South Korea on "an accelerated basis" and "as soon as possible".