Chinese patrols in the South China Sea in response to US and allied naval exercises

In support of the Philippines, the US conducted joint patrols with that country. China says the US is fueling tensions by meddling in disputes.

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Illustration, Photo: Shutterstock
Illustration, Photo: Shutterstock
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

China's military said on Sunday it had carried out air and naval patrols and that all activities "disturbing the South China Sea" were under control, in what appeared to be a response to US and allied naval exercises.

The defense chiefs of the US, Japan, Australia and the Philippines announced Saturday that they will hold joint exercises in the South China Sea to protect the rule of law and support the right to navigate and fly over the sea.

China is engaged in long-running territorial disputes with a number of Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea, which lies on a major shipping lane. In particular, conflicts with the Philippines flared up since last year.

In support of the Philippines, the US conducted joint patrols with that country. China says the US is fueling tensions by meddling in disputes.

In a brief statement, the Chinese military said it had organized patrols and that "all military activities that disrupt the South China Sea and create hotspots are under control."

The statement did not mention the US or joint exercises.

Likewise, the US and its allies did not mention China in their statement, but the four countries reaffirmed their position that the 2016 international arbitration ruling – which rejected China's expansive claims in the South China Sea – is final and legally binding.

Rising tensions in the disputed waters are expected to be high on the agenda when US President Joe Biden hosts his Japanese and Philippine counterparts for a summit at the White House this week.

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