Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping has visited a key naval base in an island province in the disputed South China Sea in his latest move advertising his close ties to the military.
Xi reviewed vessels and troops on Thursday before boarding an ultra-modern amphibious ship and submarine. Dressed in military-style shirt and pants, he chatted with sailors, officers and fliers and dined on board the vessel.
The visit to Sanya in the island province of Hainan was Xi`s first to a military installation since assuming the presidency last month, along with the leadership of the government commission overseeing the 2.3 million-member People`s Liberation Army.
China`s territorial claims in the South China Sea overlap with Vietnam, the Philippines and others.