China urges U.S. to stop ‘provocative moves’ in South China Sea

BEIJING: China said on Wednesday that a U.S. RC-135 surveillance aircraft deliberately broke into a Chinese military training area in the South China Sea on May 26 to carry out reconnaissance and interference.

China had sent aircraft to track and monitor the U.S. jet in accordance with laws and regulations, said Zhang Nandong, spokesperson for the Southern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, on Wednesday.

The response came after the U.S. recently accused China of conducting an “unnecessarily aggressive” maneuver near a U.S. military plane over the South China Sea in international airspace, which the Chinese spokesperson said was a total disregard of facts and an attempt to mislead the international public.

“We sternly urge the U.S. side to effectively restrain the actions of its frontline forces at sea and in the air, strictly comply with relevant international law and agreements to prevent air and sea accidents; otherwise, all consequences arising therefrom will be borne by the U.S. side,” the spokesperson warned.

The Chinese army is always on high alert and will resolutely defend China’s national sovereignty and security, as well as peace and stability in the South China Sea, the spokesperson added.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry called the U.S.’s provocative and dangerous moves the root cause of maritime security issues, as the U.S. has frequently sent aircraft and vessels to conduct close-in reconnaissance on China.

“The U.S. needs to immediately stop such dangerous acts of provocation. We will continue to take necessary measures to firmly safeguard our sovereignty and security,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a daily press briefing.

Mao’s remarks were made after a Chinese fighter jet intercepted a U.S. military plane over the South China Sea, forcing the U.S. RC-135 plane to fly through its wake turbulence. The maneuver occurred last week.

China urges U.S. to create conditions for dialogue between militaries
Meanwhile, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense, said on Wednesday said that China attaches importance to the development of China-U.S. military relations and communication at all levels, and there has been no break in contact and exchange between the two militaries, Tan Kefei.

However, he urged the U.S. to “create the necessary conditions for dialogue between the two sides.”

Tan told a regular press briefing that “dialogue cannot be without principles, and communication cannot be without a bottom line” when asked about reports that China declined a request for a meeting between the heads of the two militaries in Singapore.

Stressing that the responsibility for the current communication difficulties between the two countries lies entirely with the U.S. side, Tan said that the U.S. on the one hand claims to strengthen communication, but on the other hand, disregards China’s concerns and creates artificial obstacles, which shows no proper attitude for communication.

On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry also urged the U.S. to create necessary atmosphere and conditions for dialogue and communication between the two militaries. The U.S. should immediately correct its wrong practices, spokesperson Mao Ning said.

“The U.S. is clear about the reason why China-U.S. military dialogue faces difficulties,” said Mao, adding that the U.S. should earnestly respect China’s concerns over its sovereignty, security and interests.

Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Li Shangfu will speak at the 20th Shangri-La Dialogue, also known as the Asia Security Summit, in Singapore from Wednesday to Sunday.

On the sidelines of the summit, Li will meet with heads of delegations from relevant countries, according to the Chinese Defense Ministry.


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