China’s military will carry out more military exercises in the South China Sea this month involving advanced warships and submarines, state news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday, terming the drills routine.

China claims almost all of the energy-rich waters of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of maritime trade passes each year. The Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan have overlapping claims.

Xinhua said the ships, including a new guided missile destroyed, would take part in anti-submarine, anti-missile and other exercises.

It did not say exactly where the drills would take place, but noted they were routine and had been planned for this year.

China periodically announces such exercises in the South China Sea as it tries to demonstrate it is being transparent about its military deployments.

China has been at odds with the United States of late over the strategic waterway.

Washington has criticized Beijing’s building of artificial islands in the South China Sea’s disputed Spratly archipelago, and has conducted sea and air patrols near them.

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Read More:  Reuters

Featured Image – SOUTH CHINA SEA, The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) transits the South China Sea. Fitzgerald is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operation in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Patrick Dionne/Released)