China to hold naval drills in Bohai Strait and Yellow Sea

The People’s Liberation Army Navy announced it would hold gun-firing drills in the Bohai Strait and the Yellow Sea from September 10 – 13.

As a result of this, commercial vessels will be prohibited from entering areas where the exercises are to be held, according to the Wilhelmsen Ships Service.

More specifically, ships calling to Qingdao, Rizhao and Lanshan ports will be affected.

Additionally, Russian news agency TASS earlier reported that the Chinese and Russian navies are set to hold a broader naval exercise in the South China Sea which is to begin on Sunday and last until September 19.

Military analysts have been reported saying that the bilateral drill could harm the already strained China-Asean ties which deteriorated following the South China Sea ruling brought before the Hague court by the Philippines against China.

The July 12 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague concluded that China’s territorial claims in the region had no legal grounding.

The court made a differentiation between rocks and islands and low-tide elevations declaring that only naturally formed islands qualified for a 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone. This means that most of the rocks and artificially-built islands upon which China’s so-called nine dash line was based on did not give China jurisdiction over the territory.