Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

China Holds Combat Drill in South China Sea Ahead of Key Ruling

by Reuters /
This photo taken on May 5, 2016 shows crew members of China's South Sea Fleet taking part in a drill in the Xisha Islands, or the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.STR / AFP - Getty Images

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

SHANGHAI, China — The Chinese navy conducted combat drills near its southern island province of Hainan and the Paracel islands in the South China Sea, the Ministry of Defense said on Saturday.

The drills come ahead of a July 12 ruling by the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration on a case brought by the Philippines disputing several of China's territory claims in the South China Sea.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Ships from China's northern, eastern and southern fleets participated in Friday's drills, which focused on air control, surface operations and anti-submarine warfare, among other training exercises, the ministry said in a website statement.

China claims nearly all the South China Sea, but its claims overlap in part with those of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Related: China Hits Back at U.S.: 'We Have No Fear of Trouble'

China has repeatedly said it does not consider any decision reached by the arbitration court to be legally binding.

"China adheres to the position of settling disputes through negotiation and consultation with states directly concerned," state news agency Xinhua said in a commentary on Saturday.

"This has always been China's policy, and it will never change."

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.