With the United States conducting surveillance flights over South China Sea, it is risking maritime and civilian air accidents, China has said. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the U.S. is threatening the peace in the region when it has no concern over the South China Sea to begin with.
U.S. is being irresponsible and dangerous
“The recent surveillance activity by a U.S. plane posed potential threats to China’s islands and reefs, making it highly possible to lead to misjudgment, which could cause maritime or air accidents,” Lei said as quoted by CNN citing a report from state-run CNTV.
“The move is very irresponsible and dangerous, putting regional peace and stability in jeopardy. China expresses its strong dissatisfaction,” Lei continued.
“We urge the U.S. side to vigorously abide by international laws and relevant international rules, and abandon any risky and provocative actions.”
China as firm as rock on South China Sea claims
The South China Sea has long been peaceful from unwanted navigation and over-flight of unlawful military aircraft, the spokesperson said. The U.S. should not be concerned for the South China Sea as all ASEAN countries are acting within the bounds of the international law, she reiterated.
China will remain adamant to defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity over the disputed land. Its commitment will always be “as firm as a rock,” she said.
Hence, China is calling for U.S. to be discreet with words and actions for it is stirring up trouble in the South China Sea.
Philippine asks for U.S. intervention over disputed land
The Philippine defense minister Voltaire Gazmin said his country is asking for a stronger commitment from the U.S. over South China Sea. He said he will discuss the matter with U.S. Defense secretary Ash Carter on Wednesday as they meet in Hawaii.
“I will ask about the extent of the assistance they will give us, what they can do to help us because right now we are being oppressed. We feel concerned about what is happening in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Freedom of navigation, freedom of flight is disrupted so that even U.S. aircraft flying at the international territory are challenged,” Gazmin told press as reported by Reuters.
Gazmin will be asking Pentagon to provide pre-used planes, ships and coastal radar systems, Reuters has learned.
Gazmin and the Philippines president Benigno Aquino are said to be visiting Tokyo next week to discuss the rising tensions in the South China Sea with their counterparts. The leaders are to discuss the transfer of Japanese military equipment to the Philippines, Reuters learned.
The Philippines will continue air patrols over South China Sea
Meanwhile, Mr Aquino said that the Philippines will continue flying air patrols over disputed areas despite consistent warnings coming from China.
“We will still fly the routes that we fly based on the international law from the various conventions we entered into,” Mr Aquino told press.
The president vowed not to give up its territorial rights despite the Philippines’ feeble military capability compared to China.
“We will still exercise our rights over our exclusive economic zone. Bottom line is, it has to be clear, we will defend our rights to the best of our abilities.”
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