China stages maritime exercise in South China Sea as US nuclear carrier sails by

April 12, 2018

Hindustan Times:

President Xi Jinping on Thursday reviewed a massive drill by more than 100 Chinese Navy vessels in the South China Sea, which was launched as the US carried out what it described as a “routine” training exercise in nearby waters.

In a rare event, Xi boarded the destroyer Changsha and reviewed a fleet that included 76 combat ships and China’s lone aircraft carrier. He called on People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) commanders to build a “world class navy” that would be ready as the country steps into a “new era”.

Xi said the navy has a big role to play in China’s rejuvenation, adding that the “task of building a strong people’s navy has never been as urgent as today”. The three-day drill was launched in the South China Sea on Wednesday and features what the state media described as a “vast armada of ships”, including the aircraft carrier, submarines and combat ships.

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