'US provocations': Ahead of Winter Olympics, PLA conducts drills in South China Sea

WION Web Team
Beijing Updated: Jan 28, 2022, 09:48 AM(IST)

Tension in South China Sea Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The United States had recently sent its warship USS Benfold to the South China Sea angering China. China had said it had sent its forces to 'track' and 'monitor' the US destroyer.

As China prepares to host the Winter Olympics next month, China's state-run Global Times quoting the Chinese defence ministry reported that PLA "is ready to deal with any US military provocations" during the games.

The United States had recently sent its warship USS Benfold to the South China Sea angering China. China had said it had sent its forces to "track" and "monitor" the US destroyer.

China claims the South China Sea area as its own despite similar competing claims from Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines.

China has also rejected the international court's decision that it has no historical rights over the islands in the South China Sea.

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Reports say China recently conducted day-and-night flight exercises in Yongxing Island in the South China Sea as warplanes launched mock attacks during the day with the Chinese navy's J-11B fighter jets also taking part.

The US and its Western allies have conducted a number of "freedom of navigation operations" in the South China Sea as USS Benfold sailed for the first time through the contested waters this year.

In a research paper earlier, the State Department had said China has "no basis" over the South China Sea even as President Xi's regime rejected the report. 

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"The overall effect of these maritime claims is that the PRC unlawfully claims sovereignty or some form of exclusive jurisdiction over most of the South China Sea," the paper said.

Amid tensions in the area, China has continued to build military installations in the area worrying China's neighbours.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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