China’s navy gets order to improve

BEIJING — A top Chinese commander has ordered the country’s rapidly growing navy to accelerate training and technical upgrades to boost its war-fighting readiness as it faces a “complicated and difficult” security environment.

Gen. Fan Changlong was quoted Friday as saying the navy needs to respond immediately to threats and be capable of fighting and winning under modern conditions. Naval capabilities were vital to safeguarding China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, Fan said.

“Focus on responding to the complicated and difficult situation, grasp hold of the outstanding problems and points of weakness, accelerate advancing all forms of preparation for fighting at sea,” Fan said.

The Xinhua News Agency said Fan made the remarks Thursday during an inspection tour of a navy unit in Guangdong province, which lies on the disputed South China Sea.

China’s massive naval upgrade is seen as spurred in part by Beijing’s desire to put teeth into its claims over virtually the entire South China Sea. Beijing also recently reorganized its coast guard to streamline its command structure, and is rapidly adding new ships to the force.

China’s navy has benefited greatly from China’s booming military spending, now the world’s second largest after the United States. It has commissioned its first aircraft carrier, a refurbished Russian model, and is building new destroyers, frigates and submarines.

Other claimants to South China Sea territory, mainly Vietnam and the Philippines, also have been upgrading their naval forces and coast guards.

China also is involved in a dispute with Japan over unoccupied islands in the East China Sea, and the Chinese navy has increasingly been used to safeguard Beijing’s economic interests, such as vital Middle East oil shipments.

More in Local News

Mukilteo crabber missing; his boat was found at Hat Island

Frank Urbick set out Thursday morning but did not return.

Police looking for leads in case of missing Snohomish man

Henry John Groeneveld, 63, was last seen on Monday, when he said something about going to “the river.”

Separate Everett fires send man to hospital, damage boat

The man was hospitalized for smoke inhalation from the early morning fire.

Police: He made an appointment, then tried to rob the bank

A lawyer is accused of donning a fake beard and telling a teller that a gunman was outside.

Drive-by shooting reported in Marysville neighborhood

Police said there was no evidence to indicate it was targeted at a specific person or property.

Celebrating the origins of Christmas

LDS church holds annual nativity festival featuring more than 600 sets.

Trooper’s car struck when he was arresting man for DUI

She drove away but was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence and hit-and-run.

Inslee’s budget solves school funding with help from carbon

His budget would use reserves to boost education, then replenish them with a carbon tax or fee.

Man, 29, injured by shots fired at Everett thrift store

The gunfire followed an argument in the parking lot of Value Village on Evergreen Way.

Most Read