China said Tuesday it would conduct military exercises in the South China Sea this week, just days after Beijing resisted the entry of a U.S. aircraft carrier group into the disputed waters.
A notice from the country’s Maritime Safety Administration banned entry into part of the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin west of the Leizhou Peninsula in southwest China from January 27-30, but did not provide details on the timing of the drilling or the magnitude of the drilling .
A US carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt entered the South China Sea on Saturday to promote “freedom of the seas,” the US military said days after Joe Biden began serving as president.
The disputed waters have become another focal point in the increasingly difficult bilateral relations between Beijing and Washington. The US military has steadily increased its activities there in recent years as China asserts its territorial claims in the area that is in conflict with neighboring countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan.
The announcement of the exercises in the Gulf of Tonkin, east of Vietnam, came when the Southeast Asian country opened an important Communist Party convention in Hanoi.
China complained Monday that the United States frequently sends planes and ships into the South China Sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade flows every year to “flex its muscles,” saying such measures are not conducive to peace and quiet Stability in the region.
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