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Xi Jinping oversees a big week for China's Navy

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 02:02s - Published < > Embed
Xi Jinping oversees a big week for China's Navy

Xi Jinping oversees a big week for China's Navy

China showed off the first of its new generation of guided missile destroyers this week as President Xi Jinping reviewed a major naval parade through mist and rain to mark 70 years since the founding of China’s navy.

Ed Giles reports.

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Xi Jinping oversees a big week for China's Navy

China's leader oversaw a major display of its military power on the seas this week, Xi Jinping looking on as the country showed off the first of its new generation of guided missile destroyers and new nuclear submarine models.

Xi's Tuesday (April 23) appearance marked the Chinese Navy's 70th anniversary.

It's just one event in a what's been a big week for Beijing's armed forces.

The navy has seen especially rapid growth under Xi's leadership.

He's ramped up its presence in the South China Sea and around self-ruled Taiwan.

That trend has rattled nerves around the region and in Washington.

On Wednesday (April 24) the head of the Chinese Navy even took a verbal shot across the bow of the U.S. Navy's freedom of navigation patrols.

Navy Chief Shen Jilong said patrols by American warships shouldn't be used to infringe on other countries' rights.

The U.S. frequently sends warships close to Chinese-occupied reefs and features in the South China Sea.

That's along with increasingly regular passages through the Taiwan strait.

With other U.S. allies including the UK following suit.

Just last weekend, the command ship USS Blue Ridge docked in Hong Kong on one such regional patrol with the ship's commanding officer defending the concept of freedom of navigation.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) USS BLUE RIDGE COMMANDING OFFICER CAPTAIN ERIC ANDUZE, SAYING: "We enforce maritime law, and whenever there are disputes or challenges we go ahead and sail in accordance with international law, we sail in accordance with the international rules of the road, and (we) expect others to do so the same." China sees the patrols as a provocation and sees almost all of the South China Sea as its own terriotory.

That's despite competing claims from Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Brunei and the Philippines.

China has frequently had to fend off concerns about its military intentions, especially as it ramps up the development of new ships and submarines.

Beijing says it has nothing to hide and invited a small number of foreign media on-board a naval ship to watch this week's anniversary parade, including from Reuters.




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