China, Russia to Conduct Join Military Drills in South China Sea

Beijing will also deploy anti-missile defense tests to counter U.S. system in South Korea

The Chinese Defense Ministry announced Thursday that China and Russia will conduct joint naval exercises in the disputed South China Sea in September despite a recent international tribunal ruling that rejected Beijing’s claims to the strategic waterway.

Defense Ministry spokesman Senior Col. Yang Yujun called the drills “routine” at a news conference and vowed they were not directed at any countries.

The planned exercises will be the first joint drills in the South China Sea between China and Russia. The two nations, who were once communist rivals, have forged a partnership aimed at countering pressure from the U.S. and its allies over their military activities.

“This is a routine exercise between the two armed forces, aimed at strengthening the developing China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership,” Yang said. “The exercise is not directed against third parties.”

The joint drills will also be the first scheduled in the South China Sea since the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s July 12 ruling in The Hague, Netherlands, that nullified China’s territorial and maritime claims to virtually the entire waterway. The case was brought by the Philippines over China’s claims and dealt a huge blow to Beijing.

China has refused to abide by what it considers an invalid and illegitimate ruling.

Full article: China, Russia to Conduct Join Military Drills in South China Sea (Washington Free Beacon)

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