China, Russia begin joint exercises in South China Sea


Chinese and Russian naval forces began joint exercises in the South China Sea on Monday, adding a new twist to ongoing tensions over Chinese island-building in the region.

The eight-day exercises will highlight marine corps units in "live-fire drills, sea crossing and island landing operations, and island defense and offense exercises," Chinese navy spokesperson Liang Yang said in a report from China's official Xinhua News Agency.

Aside from the marines, Chinese and Russian surface ships, submarines, planes, helicopters and amphibious armored equipment would be used, Liang said.