China’s military said Thursday it will hold joint exercises with Russian forces in the South China Sea, following a recent arbitration ruling that rejected Beijing’s claim to the water.
The air and sea drills will be held sometime in September and were aimed at deepening relations between the two militaries and boosting their capacity to respond to maritime threats, ministry spokesman Col. Yang Yujun said at a monthly news briefing.
Yang said the exercises weren’t targeted at any third parties. He didn’t disclose the specific location, and some areas of the South China Sea are not disputed.
Russia and China have held numerous joint drills in recent years.
Russia has also spoken in support of China’s rejection of the move by the Philippines to bring the South China Sea case before the international arbitration body in the Hague, the Netherlands, and argued that countries without a direct claim to territory should stay impartial, in a reference to the U.S., which has called on China to accept the ruling as binding.
Six governments in all claim territory in the South China Sea. China says all disputes should be settled bilaterally through negotiations.
Story from the Associated Press.