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China conducts live fire drill in the disputed South China Sea

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BEIJING (BNS): The Chinese Navy has carried out a live fire drill involving over 100 naval vessels, dozens of aircrafts and several missile launch battalions in the disputed South China Sea (SCS).

The drill, conducted Tuesday as part of a 10-day military exercise going on since July 22 , was aimed at improving the Navy's "maritime combat ability," the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The exercise involved more than 100 naval vessels, dozens of aircrafts, several missile launch battalions of the Second Artillery Corps, as well as unknown number of information warfare troops, the report said quoting navy sources.

Dozens of missiles and torpedoes and thousands of shells and jamming bombs were fired during the exercise.

The drill tested the navy's air defence and early warning system and improved its ability to react quickly, it further said.

China claims almost all of the resource-rich SCS as its part which is hotly contested by many other littoral states including Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

The territorial dispute has been further flared up amidst reports that Beijing is constructing a massive artificial island that could host an airfield in the region.

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