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Beijing, Moscow begin South China Sea drills
September 12, 2016, 2:25 am

China and Russia have increased their joint naval exercises, such as the China-Russia "Joint Sea" drills last year [Xinhua]

China and Russia have increased their joint naval exercises, such as the China-Russia “Joint Sea” drills last year [Xinhua]

China and Russia today begin week-long joint naval exercises in the South China Sea.

The drills, which will include exercises in amphibious landing, anti-submarine maneuvers, defense and rescue, and involve “navy surface ships, submarines, fixed-wing aircraft, ship-borne helicopters, marine corps and amphibious armored equipment” were scheduled in July.

But they come just days after heated exchange between Beijing and Washington over sovereignty of the South China Sea and weeks after an international court of arbitration in the Hague ruled that China’s “historic” claims to most of the South China Sea were invalid.

China called the ruling a “farce”. At the time, Chinese President Xi Jinping said he would not accept any proposition or action based on the ruling issued unilaterally initiated by the former Philippine government.

But China says the exercises are not directed against third parties.

“This is a routine exercise between the two armed forces, aimed at strengthening the developing China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership,” China’s defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said of the drills when they were announced.

“These drills deepen mutual trust and expand cooperation, raise the ability to jointly deal with security threats, and benefit the maintenance of regional and global peace and stability,” he said.

Beijing claims 90 per cent of the South China Sea, a maritime region believed to hold a wealth of untapped oil and gas reserves and through which roughly $4.5 trillion of ship-borne trade passes every year. In addition to Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have contesting claims on these waters.

US President Barack Obama warned China on Thursday it could not ignore the Hague tribunal’s ruling on the dispute.

“The landmark arbitration ruling in July, which is binding, helped to clarify maritime rights in the region,” Obama told Southeast Asian leaders at a summit in Laos.

Putin has taken the exact opposite position.

The Russian President said during the recent G20 Summit in Hangzhou that he supports China’s stance on the South China Sea issue and opposes any third-party interference.

Interference of a non-regional player would hamper efforts to find a solution and would be “counterproductive”, Putin warned last week.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

One Response to Beijing, Moscow begin South China Sea drills

  1. werner Raabe Reply

    September 13, 2016 at 3:55 am

    hi, i hope china and russia will stand firm. if they( r and ch) would give in, the american ships will move in and claim everything for them. they are lying puppets.

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