China hold naval drills, warns US

Beijing will stage naval exercises in the disputed South China Sea after it denounced the US for sending warships to the region.

China hold naval drills, warns US

Beijing will stage naval exercises in the disputed South China Sea after it denounced the US for sending warships to the region.

The Chinese government gave official notice it would hold military drills in the northern part of the strategic waterway until Saturday, the state-backed Global Times reports.

A notice released by China's Maritime Safety Administration said other vessels are prohibited from entering waters to the west of the Leizhou Peninsula in the South China Sea. It did not give further details of the exercises.

Jet taking off from USS Theodore Roosevelt (Getty)

On Monday, Beijing criticised Washington for sending a naval force headed by the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, which entered the region on Saturday.

"It does no good to regional peace and stability for the United States to frequently send military vessels and aircraft to the South China Sea to show off muscles," said Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, and since 2014 has built up tiny reefs and sandbars into man-made artificial islands heavily fortified with missiles, runways and weapons systems - prompting outcry from the other governments.

https://twitter.com/1stMAW_Marines/status/1354387425972240388?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

At least six other governments also have overlapping territorial claims in the contested waterway: the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Taiwan.

Trade shipments worth trillions of dollars pass through the South China Sea every year.

The US Navy said it would be holding drills and flight operations.

"We all benefit from free and open access to the seas and our operations represent our commitment to maintaining regional security and stability," Captain Eric Anduze, the commanding officer of Theodore Roosevelt, said in a statement.

The naval exercises by China and US come amid rising tensions in the region and just days into the Joe Biden presidency.

Last week, Beijing declared its coastguard and warships were authorised to fire on foreign vessels in disputed waters and demolish structures built by other countries within the East and South China Seas.

Then atthe weekend, China dispatched military aircraft - including nuclear-capable bombers - on two patrols into Taiwan airspace.

The new Biden Administration has flagged it will follow former president Donald Trump's tough line against China.

Tony Blinken is Joe Biden's nominee to be Secretary of State.

"Let me just say that I also believe that President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China," Antony Blinken, Mr Biden's choice for Secretary of State, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing last week.

"I disagreed very much with the way that he went about it in a number of areas, but the basic principle was the right one, and I think that's actually helpful to our foreign policy."

- With AP

Source : 9 News More