Beijing, July 28: China and Russia are set to hold "routine" naval exercises in the South China Sea in Septmeber, Chinese sources said on Thursday (July 28).
They also said the drills will be held to strengthen their cooperation and not to target any other country.
The joint exercises will be held at a time when a verdict by an international court that China did not possess rights to the sea has created tension in the region. China was also criticised in the July 12 ruling for its environmental destruction in the region. Beijing refused to abide by the ruling. [US to continue military operations in South China Sea, reports Reuters]
"This is a routine exercise between the two armed forces, aimed at strengthening the developing China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership," Chinese defence ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a news conference.
Russia has also backed the Chinese rejecting the Philippines' move to bring the South China Sea case before the international arbitration body in the Hague and held that states without any direct claim to territory should act impartially. The target was the US, which asked China to abide by the ruling and shares quite a disturbed equation with the latter over issues---both strategic and economic.
China also held live-firing exercises in the wake of the verdict and hinted at launching regular air patrolling over the South China Sea while continuing to set up artificial islands.