10:26 GMT23 June 2021
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    Russia and China will hold joint naval exercises in the highly-contested South China Sea.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) – Russia and China will hold joint naval exercises in the South China Sea, the Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said Thursday.

    "Based on the consensus reached by the parties, the Chinese and Russian navies will hold joint Sea Cooperation-2016 exercises in the South China Sea in September," Yang told a briefing, noting that the drills "are not aimed at third countries."

    A highly-contested region through which roughly $5 trillion in international trade passes annually, most of the waterway is claimed by China, though there are overlapping claims by Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei.


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