Chinese and Russian navies conduct an island-seizing operation during joint military drills in the South China Sea, state media reports. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). STORY: Chinese and Russian navies conducted an island-seizing operation during joint navy drills in the South China Sea off southern China's Guangdong province that kicked off on Monday (September 12), state media reported. China's state television CCTV said that the navies of both countries participated in the 8-day exercises, at a time of heightened tension in contested waters, after an arbitration court in The Hague ruling in July against Beijing's claims in the South China Sea. Russia has been a strong backer of China's stance on the arbitration case. China refused to participate in the case and has rejected the ruling. China announced that it had called the "routine" naval exercises in July, saying the drills were intended to strengthen cooperation and were not aimed at any other country. China and Russia are veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council, and have held similar views on many major issues such as the crisis in Syria, often putting them at odds with the United States and Western Europe. Last year, they held joint military drills in the Sea of Japan and the Mediterranean. China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of trade moves annually. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have rival claims.