China Criticizes US Joint Naval Drills

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A high-ranking Chinese military official criticized the US on Monday for recently conducting joint naval exercises in the South China Sea, calling the timing “inappropriate”. “On various occasions, the US has expressed that it does not intend to intervene in South China Sea disputes,” said Gen. Chen Bingde, chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army. “The US is actually sending out the opposite signal,” he added, referring to joint drills between America and other nations such as Vietnam and the Philippines. Chen’s remarks came during a news conference following his meeting with US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen who is on a four-day visit to China.