China conducts patrols in South China Sea amid ongoing run-ins

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Beijing: China’s military will conduct routine patrols with its naval and air forces in the South China Sea from Wednesday to Thursday, the military’s Southern Theater Command said, as ongoing tensions simmer in the region over disputed territories.

It said troops in the area will be on high alert at all times, and will defend national sovereignty, security and maritime rights.

The patrols also aim to deter activities that disrupt the South China Sea and create “hot spots,” the military said on its Southern Theater Command’s Wechat account.

The maneuvers come as China faces rising tensions in the region, especially with the Philippines. Both countries have recently traded numerous accusations over high-profile maritime confrontations.

Last week, the Philippines said it was not provoking conflict in the South China Sea, responding to China’s accusation that Manila was encroaching on Beijing’s territory.

China has repeatedly warned the Philippines of breaching areas of the South China Sea that it calls it’s own, and has said the Philippines has relied on US support to continually provoke China.

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