BEIJING: Chinese military today voiced firm opposition to a U.S. Navy warship’s entry into waters around China’s islands and reefs in the South China Sea.
“The USS Decatur guided missile destroyer arbitrarily entered waters off China’s islands and reefs in the South China Sea on Sept. 30,” said Wu Qian, spokesperson with the Ministry of National Defense, noting that a Chinese navy vessel carried out identification and verification procedures in accordance with law and warned the U.S. vessel off.
“China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and their adjacent waters. “Currently, with the joint efforts by China and ASEAN countries, the situation in the South China Sea is developing towards a stable and positive direction. “However, the U.S. side has sent warships into waters near China’s islands and reefs in South China Sea time and again, which has posed a grave threat to China’s sovereignty and security, severely damaged the relations between the two militaries, and significantly undermined regional peace and stability. “The Chinese military resolutely opposes such actions.
“China respects and safeguards the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea in accordance with international law, but resolutely opposes any illegal provocation in the name of ‘freedom of navigation.’ “The Chinese military will fulfill its defense duty and continue to take all necessary measures to firmly safeguard the sovereignty and security of the country, as well as the regional peace and stability.”
Relevant: China today expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to a U.S. warship’s entry into the neighboring waters of China’s islands and reefs in the South China Sea. “On Sept. 30, without permission of the Chinese government, the U.S. destroyer Decatur entered neighboring waters of islands and reefs of China’s Nansha Islands,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said. The Chinese Navy identified the U.S. warship, warned and expelled it, Hua said, stressing that China has indisputable sovereignty of the Nansha islands and its adjacent waters. She said with joint efforts of China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations members, the current situation in the South China Sea has continued to stabilize and get better, while repeated provocative U.S. moves under the pretext of the so-called “freedom of navigation operation” have threatened peace and stability in the region. She said that such U.S. moves are against the common will of countries in the region and the basic international norms. “The Chinese side strongly urges the U.S. side to immediately correct its mistakes and stop such provocative operations,” Hua said, adding that China would take all necessary measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and security.