China is reportedly set to carry out military drills in disputed South China Sea waters this week.
The exercises are expected to be held in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin between 27 and 30 January. It is based on details in a notice issued by China’s Maritime Safety Administration (MSA).
The notice sought to suspend entry into a part of the waters of Tonkin Gulf to the west of the Leizhou peninsula in southwest China, reported Reuters.
However, it did not disclose exact details on when the exercises would be conducted nor its scale.
The latest news comes just days after US Navy’s Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) conducted routine operations in the disputed waters.
According to the US military, USS Theodore Roosevelt entered the South China Sea via the Bashi Channel on 23 January to promote ‘freedom of the seas’.
In addition, US reconnaissance aircraft and early warning aircraft also flew near the Taiwan region.
During a regular press conference on 25 January, China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian was asked for a response on the aircraft carrier’s entry into South Chin Sea.
Lijian said that “it does no good to regional peace and stability for the United States to frequently send military vessels and aircraft to the South China Sea to show off muscles”.