The Chinese military conducted military exercises with its three fleets in the South China Sea, the first since 2010, amid continuing tensions over the Senkaku Islands, the South China Morning Post reports:
The combined drill was carried out in southern waters by warships, submarines and the naval air force from the People's Liberation Army's North Sea, East Sea and South Sea fleets, national broadcaster CCTV reported on Saturday.
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Meanwhile, three Chinese marine surveillance ships had monitored and obtained evidence before "expelling" boats manned by Japanese right-wing activists from waters near Diaoyu islands, or Senkakus as they are known in Japan, China's State Oceanic Administration said yesterday.
Japan's Foreign Ministry protested to China over the five-hour sailing by three Chinese official ships in the waters, the Kyodo news agency said yesterday. The Kyodo report denied the activists' ships had been driven away.
The Senkaku islands, which are located in the South China Sea between Japan, Taiwan, and China, have been an escalating source of tension over the last year. Japan administers the islands and has since 1972, but the China claims the islands as part of its territory.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned last month that Japan would respond with force if China made any attempt to land on the islands.