The Naval Forces of Russia and China will hold joint military exercises in the South China Sea even while the region is marked by unresolved territorial disputes.
Russia and China will hold naval exercises in the South China Sea in September. On Thursday, July 28th, the representative of the Chinese Defense Ministry Yang Yujun said "The purpose of the air and naval exercises will be the deepening of the relations between the Armed Forces of the two countries and the strengthening of their ability to respond to maritime threats."
The maneuvers will be carried out at a time of high tensions over the disputed waters of the South China Sea. On July 12th, the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague recognized China's claim to the waters within the "nine-dash line" as illegal. According to the tribunal, China has no "historical" rights to natural resources in the area. The court also ruled that none of the islands and reefs in the Spratly archipelago is a part of the exclusive economic zone of China. Thus, the court has satisfied Philippine claims submitted in 2013.
In response, Beijing officials said it would not abide by the verdict of the court. According to China's opinion, the Court of Arbitration in The Hague does not have the necessary jurisdiction to resolve the territorial dispute.