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China conducts massive drills in South China Sea

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This July 1, 2015 file photo shows sailors of China's Peoples' Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). (AFP photo)

Chinese military has carried out a series of extensive military drills in South China Sea in a move which could trigger more tensions with its South Asian neighbors.

China’s PLA Daily said on Sunday that some upgraded methods that resemble actual combat conditions were used in the drills to increase the combat effectiveness of Beijing’s South China Sea fleets.

The daily said in its article that the new methods included training within an electromagnetic environment. It said other tactics such as all-weather drills, beyond visibility range training and low-altitude, high-speed exercises to hammer the fleets’ pilots into shape were previously exercised.

"To think about special situations in an even more complex way, to make the enemy situation even more dangerous, to make the battlefield environment even more lifelike, is an important path in order for the navy and air force to stick close to the demands of real combat and accelerate its transformative production model for fighting strength," Tian Junqing, a division commander of the Chinese fleets, was quoted as saying. 

The daily said other items will be included in the training, including 24-hour maritime attack drills and minimum altitude defensive dashes. It added that the fleets will work in coordination with early aerial warnings, surface ships and ground anti-aircraft defense, among other branches of the military.

The news come also several days after the United States, which backs those claims by China neighbors, voiced concern about Beijing's “land reclamation” and “militarization” in South China Sea.

There have been growing disputes between China and its neighbors, including Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, that lay claim to some parts of South China Sea.

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