Chinese naval drills irrelevant to South China Sea situation: defense ministry

08:15, June 30, 2011      

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The recent military drills by the Chinese navy are routine arrangements made in accordance with the navy's annual plan and irrelevant to the South China Sea situation, said a Defense Ministry spokesman Wednesday.

Spokesman Yang Yujun made the comment in response to a question on the intention of the navy's military drills at a monthly press conference.

The navy's South Sea Fleet has staged six military exercises in June, including a military drill in waters near China's southern tropical island of Hainan.

Some media reports have speculated excessively over these routine exercises, Yang said.

"China hopes all parties concerned will treat the Chinese navy's normal exercises in an objective and rational way," he added.

Responding to a question on the U.S.- Philippines joint naval exercise, Yang said China always believes that any bilateral defense cooperation should not be directed against any third party or damage the interest of a third party.

He said China expects all relevant countries to make the peace and stability of the region a priority and do more to contribute toward it.

In response to a question on a U.S. senate resolution concerning the South China Sea issue, which mentions "freedom of navigation rights," Yang said freedom of navigation in the South China Sea has never been affected by the disputes, and there has never been such a problem.

Source: Xinhua
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