China and Russia were to start war games in the South China Sea on Monday, Beijing's defence ministry said, in a show of force after an international tribunal invalidated the Asian giant's extensive claims in the area.
The eight-day joint drills will include exercises on "seizing and controlling" islands and shoals, Chinese navy spokesman Liang Yang said in a statement.
They will involve surface ships, submarines, fixed-wing aircraft, ship-borne helicopters, marine corps and amphibious armoured equipment from both navies, he said.
"Compared with previous joint drills, these exercises are deeper and more extensive in terms of organisation, tasks and command" he said in the statement, released Sunday.
China claims almost all of the South China Sea and has sought to bolster its case by building a series of artificial islands capable of supporting military facilities. READ MORE