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President Joe Biden arrives at Osan Air Base, Friday, May 20, 2022, in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.

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China is holding military exercises in the disputed South China Sea coinciding with U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to South Korea and Japan. The Maritime Safety Administration office in the southern island province of Hainan says the drills began Thursday and will continue through Monday. It says other aircraft and vessels will be prohibited from entering the area but gave no further details. China claims the South China Sea virtually in its entirety and the crucial waterway has become a potential flashpoint for conflict in Asia. The U.S. does not take a foreign position on the sovereignty issue but insists on the right to operate freely in the sea and frequently sails warships close to militarized Chinese-held islands in the area.

Australians vote Saturday to elect their 47th Parliament since federation in 1901 and will likely either return Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative coalition for a fourth three-year term or make opposition leader Anthony Albanese the nation’s 31st prime minister. If neither of the two major parties can secure a majority of seats in the House of Representatives, the leaders will have to negotiate with unaligned lawmakers to form a minority government. This has happened only once since World War II.

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