A soldier of the People's Liberation Army navy stands guard during a drill to test the defense of the Nansha Islands. Battleships from the PLA navy's South Sea Fleet are undergoing a long-distance training mission while patrolling the Xisha and Nansha islands. Gao Yi / For China Daily
The navy has been patrolling the Xisha and Nansha islands in the South China Sea on an ongoing training mission over the last week.
Warships and helicopters of the People's Liberation Army navy patrolled reefs off the Nansha Islands, which are comprised of more than 500 islets, shoals and reefs, and surrounding waters, from Thursday to Saturday.
Battleships from the PLA navy's South Sea Fleet, including the amphibian landing craft Changbaishan and the missile destroyers Haikou and Wuhan, set sail from ports in Guangdong and Hainan provinces on Monday.
The group conducted patrols off the Xisha Islands, including Yongxing, Dongdao, Chenhang and Zhongjian, on Tuesday and Wednesday. Marines, backed up by helicopters, on board the Changbaishan conducted landing drills and counter-landing defense measures with garrisons stationed on the islands.
The missile destroyers Haikou and Wuhan also conducted anti-submarine operations.
The ships will continue to sail south and practice tactical maneuvers in the western Pacific and Indian Ocean.