China begins naval exercises in South China Sea before India deployment – Times of India

BEIJING: China on Friday kicked off a five-day-long naval drill in the disputed South China Sea, setting up a vast navigation restriction zone amid the all-domain military exercises being conducted by the US in the Indo-Pacific region along with Britain, Australia and Japan, the first of its kind in more than four decades.
The Indian Navy is also deploying a naval task group comprising four frontline warships to the South China Sea, Western Pacific and South East Asia for over two months beginning early August, in a significant move aimed at enhancing its profile in the strategically key sea lanes.
In the course of their deployment, the Indian ships will participate in the next edition of the Malabar exercise alongside the Quad allied navies of Japan, Australia, the US, in the Western Pacific, Indian Navy spokesperson commander Vivek Madhwal said on August 2.
About the drills by Quad countries, Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday, “China hopes that the warships of relevant countries will earnestly abide by international law, respect the sovereignty, rights and interests of countries along the South China Sea and avoid harming regional peace and stability”.
A notice released by the Maritime Safety Administration early this week said China will hold military training in the SCS from Friday to Tuesday.

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