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US to Remain 'Responsive' to Outcome of Russia-China South China Sea Drills

Sputnik News

18:18 12.09.2016

The United States will carefully monitor the developments around the latest Russian and Chinese joint naval drills in the South China Sea, US Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said at a Center for American Progress forum on Monday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Russia and China began their annual Joint-Sea naval exercises on Monday, taking place in the South China Sea. A total of 18 ships and supply vessels, 21 aircraft and over 250 service personnel from China's People's Liberation Army Navy and the Russia's Pacific Fleet are taking part in the naval drills from September 12-19.

"It is a regional security dynamic and so we will just have to be responsive to what emerges," Richardson said of unfolding trends in the South China Sea.

Richardson noted that some of the developments that emerge out of the security dynamic in the South China Sea "will be more concerning than others," but the US Navy will continue to watch and be prepared for "what may come."

Top US defense officials have accused Beijing of engaging in provocative actions in the South China Sea, where China and a number of US allies have competing territorial claims.

The United States has responded to China's growing naval power by increasing the number of US freedom of navigation operations in international waters in the region.


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