Global News

China denounces US-Australian navy drills as muscle flexing

By Financial express

China on Friday said the US and Australia were “flexing their muscles with recent naval drills in the South China Sea, underscoring Beijing’s sensitivity over the strategic waterway it claims as its own.

The US Navy’s 7th Fleet said the guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur and the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat concluded a week of joint operations in the South China Sea. Those included maneuvering drills along with resupplying vessels, cross-deck helicopter operations and live-fire gunnery exercises.

The ships honed their advanced mariner skills in a joint environment while enforcing the normalcy of routine operations throughout the region in accordance with international law,” the Navy said.

At a daily briefing in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the two countries should do things that are conducive to regional peace and stability, instead of flexing their muscles.

The US and China’s neighbours have rejected Beijing’s claim to virtually the entire South China Sea, through which an estimated USD 5 trillion in trade travels each year.

Australia has joined them in expressing concern over China’s growing presence in the South China Sea, most notably through its construction of militarised man-made islands built atop coral reefs in the highly disputed Spratly island group.

Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam have claims that overlap with China’s

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financial express
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