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China denounces US-Australian navy drills as muscle flexing

BEIJING (AP) — China says the U.S. and Australia were flexing their muscles with recent naval drills in the South China Sea, underscoring Beijing’s sensitivity over the strategic waterway it claims as its own. The U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet says two warships concluded a week of joint operations in the South China Sea. Those included maneuvering drills along with resupplying vessels, cross-deck helicopter operations and live-fire gunnery exercises. In Beijing, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson says the two countries should do things that are conducive to regional peace and stability, instead of flexing their muscles. The U.S. and China’s neighbors have rejected Beijing’s claim to virtually the entire South China Sea, through which an estimated $5 trillion in trade travels each year.  

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Associated Press

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