China stages massive military drill in South China Sea | Global News
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China stages massive military drill in South China Sea

/ 03:18 PM July 21, 2015

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The Chinese Navy has staged a large-scale amphibious landing drill in the South China Sea amid heightened tensions in the region, China’s state Broadcaster CCTV reported on Monday.

According to CCTV, the drill involved a landing brigade, marine corps, amphibious forces and navy helicopter units.

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Chinese media reported “Bison class” amphibious hovercrafts were deployed during the drill for the first time.

The hovercrafts can carry three heavy tanks, or ten armored vehicles with 140 soldiers on board, CCTV reported.

Reports of the drill followed a seven-hour surveillance flight by the new US commander of the Pacific Fleet over the South China Sea, particularly over the West Philippine Sea, on board one of America’s newest spy planes.

The CCTV report did not identify the specific area of the drill.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Japan emphasized China as a threat in escalating regional tensions in this year’s annual defense report.

The report raised concerns over China’s recent reclamation work in the South China Sea, saying it had escalated regional tensions.

Territorial disputes involving China, the Philippines and several others have flared on and off for years, creating fears that the South China Sea could spark Asia’s next major armed conflict.

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TAGS: China, Japan, military drills, South China Sea, territorial dispute, West Philippine Sea
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