China-Russia launch South China Sea naval wargames

BEIJING: China's military says the Chinese and Russian navies are launching eight days of war games in the South China Sea, in a sign of growing cooperation between their armed forces.

The Defense Ministry says the "Joint Sea-2016" exercises beginning Monday will include surface ships, submarines, ship-borne helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, along with marines and amphibious armored vehicles.

Tasks will include defensive and rescue drills, anti-submarine exercises and the simulated seizure of an enemy island.

The ministry didn't say exactly where the drills would be held in the South China Sea, home to heated territorial disputes between China and its Southeast Asian neighbors.

Russia has been the only major country to speak out on China's behalf in its demand that the US and other countries stay out of such arguments.