China announces live-fire drill in Taiwan Strait

China announces live-fire drill in Taiwan Strait

Pictures of Xi during the visit showed him wearing military fatigues while aboard ship and eating with members of China's navy.

One of the key goals of the upcoming Chinese naval drills scheduled to be held in the Taiwan Strait is a show of support for Russian Federation over the latter's standoff against the United States in Syria, the South China Morning Post reported citing a source "close to the PLA".

"The task of building a strong navy has never been as urgent as it is today", he said.

Chinese warplanes conducted 25 drills around Taiwan between August 2016 and mid-December previous year, according to the island's government. Congress, however, recently signed the Taiwan Travel Act with unanimous votes in both the House and the Senate.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, speaks after he reviewed the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy fleet in the South China Sea.

"It is a routine drill within the Navy's annual plan".

Other military experts suggested that the Chinese exercises were meant to call attention away from the current tensions between the US and Russian Federation over Syria, and that they represent a gesture of support for Moscow on the part of Beijing.

The naval review comes as the USS Theodore Roosevelt, leading a carrier strike group, conducted what the USA military called routine training in the disputed South China Sea on Tuesday.

The latest readings on the health of China's trade sector are unlikely to ease tensions following weeks of tit-for-tat tariff threats by Washington and Beijing, though they suggest China's economy is still in relatively solid shape. The US conducts periodic air and naval patrols near the disputed islands that have angered Beijing. In 2016, an worldwide court ruled that the "nine-dash line"-a demarcation line China uses to lay claim to parts of the South China Sea-is inconsistent with the global laws on maritime resources".

The disputed waters remain a potential flashpoint, with the USA saying China's activities in the area pose a threat to freedom of navigation.

Maritime disputes between China on the one hand and the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan on the other have caused tensions in the region and often led to a war of words between Beijing and Washington.

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