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China conducts routine naval drill in South China Sea


07-06-2016 13:42 BJT

Full coverage: The South China Sea Issue

Chinese military Tuesday launched a week-long training exercise in the South China Sea.

"The training activity is a routine arrangement made in accordance with the annual training plan of the Navy. China will firmly maintain its sovereignty in the South China Sea and insists on solving the dispute with relevant countries through direct talk," Chinese foreign minsiter spokesperson Hong Lei said.

International leaders including Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen have publicly questioned the legality of the upcoming ruling over the South China Sea dispute between Beijing and Manila. They have also criticized US involvement in the issue.

"Many countries and insightful people in the international community believe that the related parties should abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. They have expressed concern over the expansion and abuse of power by the Arbitral Tribunal. This action will severely affect the international legal order," Hong Lei said.

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