China, Russia to hold joint naval in South China Sea: Beijing

July 28, 2016 10:51 am

Chinese Navy ships pass through the Tsushima Strait to the Sea of Japan for joint drills with , July 3, 2013. (File photo)

and Russia will conduct a joint naval drill in the South Sea in September, a senior Chinese official says.
Yang
Yujun, the Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman, made the announcement on
Thursday, saying the exercises will be carried out in the “relevant sea
and air of the South China Sea.”
He added that the joint drill is “routine” and “does not target any third party.”
The South China Sea is the subject of a territorial dispute between China and several regional countries.
Recently,
a Hague-based court of arbitration ruled that China’s claim of
sovereignty over disputed areas in the sea or its resources had no legal
basis. The case had been filed by the Philippines, whose economic and
sovereign rights, according to the court, have been violated by .
China has dismissed the ruling, saying it does not recognize the tribunal’s arbitration in the dispute.

This
aerial image taken from a C-130 transport plane shows a general view of
Taiping Island during a visit by journalists to the island, in the
disputed South China Sea, March 23, 2016. (BY AFP)

China
and Russia have increased their military training cooperation in recent
years. The two countries have been holding naval drills in the Pacific
waters since 2012.
The United States, too, has moved to step up its military cooperation with allies in the region.
The
presence of the US in the region has upset regional powers China and
Russia, which say such extra-regional presence serves to inflame
tensions among countries.
In the disputes revolving around the South China Sea, the US has sided with China’s rival claimants.
Beijing
claims almost all of the South China Sea, which is also claimed in part
by Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. The contested
waters are rich in oil and gas.

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