Beijing: The Chinese navy kicked off a 10-day military training exercise in the South China Sea amid heightened tensions in the region, a media report said.
The military drills, that started on Wednesday, will be held east of China's Hainan province till July 31, the Maritime Safety Administration announced on Monday, reported chinadaily.com.cn.
"The drills are regular military exercises scheduled in the annual plan, without targeting any other country," the ministry of national defense said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.
"Unlike US military forces that can be trained in wars, Chinese navy strength, which lags behind ground forces, needs to be enhanced via regular drills," Major General Xu Guangyu, a senior consultant at the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told the Global Times.
The drills came after increasing tensions in the waters caused by a spate of incidents in recent months that involved the Philippines, the US and Japan.