South China Sea WW3: China Demands US To Stop Close Reconnaissance

South China Sea WW3: China Demands US To Stop Close Reconnaissance
F/A-18s and Su-30s fly above USS Enterprise. Official US Navy Page / Flickr CC BY 2.0
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China remains adamant following the incident with the U.S. Navy on Thursday that led them to send out J-11 fighter jets in order to intercept a U.S. EP-3 aircraft that had been on a surveillance mission. The Pentagon says the aircraft’s activities were nothing but “a routine U.S. patrol.” The Chinese want it to stop immediately.


“We demand that the US immediately cease this type of close reconnaissance and prevent this sort of incident from happening again,” says China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hong Lei.

Contrary to the Pentagon’s belief, Beijing is saying that its two aircraft conducted an operation that “was completely in keeping with safety and professional standards.”

Moreover, Hong Lei also stressed that what that frequent reconnaissance by the U.S. is “seriously endangering maritime and airspace security.”

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Related: South China Sea WW3: US Warship Patrol Angers China

The latest incident shows increased tensions along the South China Sea with China involved in a host of territorial disputes with countries such as the Philippines, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Earlier this month, China also responded similarly to a U.S. patrol that was done near China’s Nansha Islands. China’s Ministry of National Defense said that the USS William P. Lawrence entered the waters near the Yongshu Reef in Nansha Islands illegally.

In response, the Chinese scrambled two J-11 fighter jets and one Y-8 AWACs from the PLA Navy’s aviation force.

Related: South China Sea WW3: China Calls Out US, UK Meddling In Disputed Region

When the U.S. said it was merely conducting a freedom of navigation operations, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang responded, “When talking about the importance of navigation freedom to smaller countries, the US official seems to forget once again to clarify whether it is navigation freedom of commercial vessels or willful trespassing of naval warships that he is referring to.”

He also stressed that the UNCLOS or United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea did not state that military vessels have a right to make passage “through others territorial waters.”

RelatedSouth China Sea Dispute: China Boycotts Tribunal, Philippine Case Illegal?

Earlier this year, the U.S. had also decided to increase its military presence in ally country Philippines after it was found that China had built an island on top of the Scarborough Shoal, a territory the Philippines is also laying claim to.

The Philippines had also tried to bring the matter for arbitration at The Hague, but China is refusing to give the tribunal’s upcoming decision any validity. It is believed that it will rule in the Philippines’ favor.

Today, China is still stressing that it prefers to hold bilateral talks with the Philippines instead of participating in an arbitration. It has also told the U.S. and other allies such as the U.K. to stay out of the issue.

Also read: South China Sea WW3: US Military Plane ‘Unsafely’ Intercepted By China

Related: South China Sea WW3: China Deploys Jets As US, PH Build Military Bases

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  • britbob

    Effective sovereignty Argument Uninhabited Islands: A case that supports this view of effective sovereignty is relevant is the Minquiers and Ecrehos Case, France/UK of 17th November 1953. In this case both the UK and France had requested the ICJ to determine which country held sovereignty over the uninhabited Islets and rocks in the Minquiers and Ecrehos. France had claimed sovereignty because of historic sovereignty going back to the Dutchy of Normandy in the 11th century while the UK claimed that Jersey had historically exercised administrational jurisdiction on them. The Court decided that in the absence of valid treaty provisions, they considered the argument that the British government has exercised effective control to be superior, so that sovereignty control over the Minquiers and Ecrehos belonged to the UK. (the UK had protested to the French government when a French national had intended to build a house on one of the islats and any deaths occurring on the islets were dealt with by inquests held on Jersey). ICJ Minquiers & Ecrehos Judgment, 17 Nov 1953, p28, paras 6 & 12.

    No delimitation between states with opposite or adjacent coasts may be affected unilaterally by one of those states. For some interesting judgments on territorial seas and to gain an understanding as to how the world court deals with such disputes:

  • disqus_Rv1GqOyTeN

    Jennifer Ong wrote, “The Philippines had also tried to bring the matter for arbitration at The Hague, but China is refusing to give the tribunal’s upcoming decision any validity. It is believed that it will rule in the Philippines’ favor.” Jennifer you are either ignorant or you are trying to mis-lead your readers. China is not accepting the outcome of the arbitration because:
    The UNCLOS has a provision for China to be exempted from compulsory arbitration. China and other 30+ states have opted out of arbitration. This provision is part and parcel of the UCLOS which the Philippines is a signatory. By instigating a compulsory arbitration, Philippines is acting against international law and norm. It is also a bizarre that the Hague court judges did not observe this part of the law

    • wfraser11

      disqus; listen little troll man >50 cents. The article is accurate. Take your stupid propaganda elsewhere troll.

      • disqus_Rv1GqOyTeN

        Truth really hurts, doesn’t it?