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.
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.
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."
(Reporting by Nathaniel Taplin; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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