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China's army condemns South Korean-US sea drills

BEIJING (AP) - China's military is condemning a second round of U.S.-South Korean naval drills planned in the Yellow Sea in the coming weeks and vowing it would respond in kind.

The military's newspaper published an editorial on the drills today. The People's Liberation Army Daily says actions by foreign military ships and planes in waters near its coast could "affect China's security interests."

China has repeatedly criticized the drills, saying they risk heightening tensions on the Korean peninsula. Although the Yellow Sea consists mostly of international waters, China regards it as lying within its vaguely defined security perimeter.

China's Foreign Ministry issued a statement earlier this week demanding the U.S. and South Korea take China's opposition to the drills seriously.

The expected participation of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington is particularly irksome to China because of its status as a symbol of U.S. power in the Pacific and the possibility of its F-18 warplanes flying within range of Beijing.

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