China holds live-fire navy drills in East China Sea

BEIJING (AP) — China’s navy has fired dozens of missiles and torpedoes during exercises in the East China Sea that come amid heightened maritime tensions in the region.

The drills that began Monday follow China’s strident rejection of an international arbitration panel’s ruling last month that invalidated Beijing’s claims to a vast swath of the South China Sea.

That led to days of angry statements from Beijing, followed by naval exercises in the South China Sea and the launch of regular aerial patrols in the area.

The Defense Ministry on Tuesday said the East China Sea exercises were aimed at improving the “intensity, precision, stability and speed” of its forces amid an environment of strong electromagnetic forces that result from modern electronic warfare.

The combined drill included ships, submarines, aircraft and coastguard forces.