The Chinese navy played down recent military drills in the South China Sea and criticised other countries for “illegally” occupying islands in the area, the official Xinhua news service reported on Saturday.
China has launched a naval drill in waters to the east of Hainan island, a largely unpopulated region of reefs and shoals in which a number of countries maintain contradictory and overlapping territorial claims.
“Holding sea drills is a common practice for navies with various countries. The annual drill by the Chinese navy aims to test the troops’ real combat abilities, boost their manoeuvrability, search and rescue power…
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