China to conduct naval drills in Pacific amid tension
BEIJING (REUTERS) - Three advanced Chinese warships left port on Wednesday for naval drills and war games in the Western Pacific, and the fleet will likely pass through disputed waters in the East and South China Sea, state media said.
The official Xinhua news agency described the manoeuvres as routine, but they come as China is engaged in an increasingly bitter, high stakes dispute over maritime territory with Japan and with several Southeast Asia nations.
"The fleet will carry out more than 20 types of exercises including naval confrontation, battle drills far out at sea, the protection of maritime rights and command and control," Xinhua cited the Defence Ministry as saying in a statement.
"These exercises on the high seas will take in the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, the South China Sea, the Miyako Strait, the Bashi Channel and the seas to the east of Taiwan."