China has created a “combat-ready” patrol system for some areas of the disputed territorial waters of the South China Sea, the latest move in a series of provocative acts by claimants of the sea, Reuters reported. “In order to protect national sovereignty and our security and development interests, the Chinese military has already set up a normal, combat-ready patrol system in seas under our control,” said Geng Yansheng, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Defense. Geng said that the move came in response to Vietnamese air patrols over the Spratly Islands; he added that China would “resolutely oppose any militarily provocative behavior” in the region. On Tuesday China’s state-owned enterprise China National Offshore Oil Corporation (Cnooc) said it would take bids for natural resource exploration in disputes waters near Vietnam, creating tensions between the two countries.
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