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On Wednesday, the Chinese regime said it would go ahead with carrying out Pacific naval exercises—amid concerns over its increasing military power and naval aggression in the South China Sea.
The announcement was made after US plans to strengthen its Asia-Pacific military bases and to place 2,500 US Marines in the northern Australian city of Darwin.
The Chinese Defense Ministry issued a statement saying the drill is not aimed at any country. It stated, "China's freedom of navigation and other legal rights should not be obstructed."
According to Japan's Kyodo News Agency, the Japanese Defense Ministry reported six Chinese naval vessels were already in the Pacific—near southern Japan—since Tuesday.
Maritime disputes between China and other Asian countries have hit the headlines in recent months.
The Chinese regime and five other neighboring countries have claims on portions of the South China Sea—believed to have large oil and gas reserves.
Last week at the East Asia Summit in Indonesia, Chinese leader Wen Jiabao warned US President Barack Obama to keep out of the sea dispute.