Chinese navy to conduct drills off Indonesia

  • 27/03/2016

A week after the latest territorial dispute in the South China Sea heated up, the Chinese navy is to conduct exercises off the coast of Indonesia.

In a notice posted on its website, the country's Ministry of Defence said the Chinese navy flotilla will hold joint training and conduct disaster relief exercises with 16 nations, including Indonesia, the United States and Russia.

The exercises, run by the Indonesian navy, will begin at Padang and nearby islands on April 12.

Chinese ships have already left the port of Qingdao to take part in the naval exercises, China's Ministry of Defence confirmed.

Last week, Indonesia attempted to detain a Chinese trawler it accused of fishing in its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, prompting the Chinese coastguard to intervene.

Tensions have been rising in the area as China continues to reclaim land and stake claims over vast swathes of an important shipping corridor. Several countries have overlapping claims in the area, including Vietnam.

The Chinese ministry said in a separate notice that Defence Minister Chang Wanquan was due to visit Vietnam on Saturday to participate in high-level talks.

Newshub. / Reuters