FILE PHOTO: China's Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducts a drill in an area of South China Sea, in this undated photo taken December, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer/File photo
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China's Navy has launched a new electronic reconnaissance ship, state media said Thursday, the latest addition to an expanding fleet and as Beijing's new assertiveness to territorial claims in the South China Sea fuels tensions.China has also said it is building a second aircraft carrier.Regional naval officials say Chinese ships now increasingly track and shadow U.S. and Japanese warships in the South China and East China seas, even during routine deployments.China claims almost of the South China Sea, believed to have huge deposits of oil and gas, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, and has been building up military facilities like runways on the islands it controls.
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