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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: A Chinese People's Liberation Army navy fleet has finished patrol and training missions in the South China Sea on Wednesday, state media reported. The fleet entered the South China Sea on Friday for patrols and drills after passing through the Bashi Channel. The Bashi Channel, situated between Taiwan and the Philippines' Luzou Island, is an international sea route connecting the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. When sailing by the Yongxing Island, the fleet sent meat, vegetables and fruits brought from east China's Qingdao to soldiers and officers stationed on the island, China state television CCTV reported. On Tuesday morning, the fleet replenished supplies at sea for the first time since their voyage. The fleet will enter the West Pacific after passing through the Bashi Channel on Thursday night. It will continue training exercises during the Chinese Spring Festival holidays, which starts on Saturday. Last year tensions flared between China and Japan after Japan purchased disputed islands from a private owner despite China's protests. China has also has competing claims over islands with Southeast Asian neighbors including the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia. China says it has no hostile intentions and that it is simply updating its outdated forces.
Feb. 7 - Chinese warships complete patrol and drill in the South China Sea, amid ongoing territorial disputes with Japan and other neighbors. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). ( Transcript )
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