China fires missiles, torpedoes in South China Sea to test ‘real combat abilities’

China’s People’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy conducted live fire exercise in South China Sea “to improve its maritime combat ability,” says in a report posted at China’s Ministry of Defense. Dozens of missiles and torpedoes and thousands of shells and jamming bombs were fired during the exercise, the report added.

PLA Navy’s exercise started July 22 and will end on July 31. The military of China earlier said it will conduct training in waters near eastern Hainan Island which is near the disputed Paracel Islands in South China Sea. No civilian vessel is allowed to enter the areas where PLA Navy is conducting drills.

China’s military training involves more than 100 naval vessels, dozens of aircraft, several missile launch battalions and an unknown number of information warfare troops.

“The annual, regular drill by the Chinese navy aims to test the troops’ real combat abilities, boost their maneuverability, search and rescue power and the abilities to fulfill diversified military missions,” Chinese navy spokesperson Liang Yang said.