China opposes US-ROK military drill

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A top Chinese military official on Thursday objected to the proposed joint military exercise between the United States and the Republic of Korea in the Yellow Sea.

General Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, told reporters that the location of the upcoming drill is very close to Chinese's sea area, and China strongly opposed it.

The US and the ROK announced the combined military drill in early June to counter the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's alleged sinking of an ROK's warship in late March that killed 46.

Soon after it was announced, the anti-submarine drill was delayed to mid-June, then again postponed to the last week of June.

On June 28, the ROK again delayed the drill to July, according to an ROK official, to ensure the US' attendance.

The confusing signals sent out by the two sides on whether the aircraft carrier USS George Washington would take part in the drill has made the exercise an even hotter topic.

Debates in the US have revealed concerns about angering China, as there are currently sensitive military relations between the two countries.

"It's a very tough call," Susan Shirk, a former state department official and an expert on Asian security at the University of California at San Diego, was quoted by the Washington Post as saying. "You don't want to be too proactive. But you need to send a clear message."

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