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South China Sea: China and US military exercises

South China Sea: China and US military exercises

Amid rising tensions in the South China Sea, China and the US today engaged in separate military exercises in the disputed waters. China's military said today that its navy and air force are conducting two-day “routine patrols” in the sea that began yesterday.

For its part, the United States announced that the naval group around the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier “USS Carl Vinson” will conduct joint exercises with ally Philippine Navy for two days. The Chinese military initially did not provide any information on the location of the drills or the number of soldiers or aircraft. The U.S. Navy “regularly conducts such exercises to strengthen ties with allies and partners,” the U.S. statement said.

Dispute between China and the Philippines

The maneuvers come against the backdrop of weeks-long disputes between China and the Philippines over territorial waters, which have worsened significantly recently. Among other things, there were many collisions between the ships of the two countries.

Beijing blames Manila for escalating tensions. China's foreign ministry said Manila “broke its word, changed its policies, violated China's sovereignty and repeated provocations, provoking critical situations.”

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