China, Singapore start joint naval drills as Beijing boosts ties in Asia

China, Singapore start joint naval drills as Beijing boosts ties in Asia

China, Singapore start joint naval drills as Beijing boosts ties in Asia

(SCMP) – Beijing is moving to get its efforts to boost defense ties with its Southeast Asian neighbors back on track, with the start of a joint exercise on Wednesday between the Chinese and Singapore navies.

The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted some of China’s plans for greater military engagement in the region, aimed at countering the growing US challenge to Beijing’s claims of sovereignty in the South China Sea.

In a short statement, the Chinese defense ministry said the drill with the Singapore navy would include joint search and rescue, as well as communication exercises.

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China, Singapore start joint naval drills as Beijing boosts ties in Asia