Joint military drills for China, Malaysia

CHINA - China and Malaysia will hold their first joint military exercises next year, the South-east Asian nation's defence minister said yesterday, despite the country's rival claims to the South China Sea.

The announcement by Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who is in Beijing to meet Chinese military leaders, follows a visit to Kuala Lumpur earlier this month by Chinese President Xi Jinping, in which the two countries pledged closer ties.

It was not immediately clear how Malaysia's warming defence ties with China would be received in other ASEAN capitals.