China urges US to end its challenges in South China Sea

BEIJING, Nov. 04 (MNA) – The Chinese government urged the United States to cease its provocations in the South China Sea, after Washington denied that the incursion of a US patrol vessel in those waters is illegal.

We urge the US not to take any action that threatens the sovereignty and security of China, said the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying, at regular news conference.

The statements of the spokeswoman respond to comments made Monday by the deputy National Security advisor of the US, Ben Rhodes, there will be more demonstrations of the US commitment to the right of free navigation in the region.

The US Navy will continue its military maneuvers in the South China Sea, wherever it is entitled to, said on Tuesday Admiral Harry Harris.

Hua said that China has always respected and safeguarded other countries' freedom of navigation and overflight, according to international law, but is firmly opposed to any nation taking advantage of it as an excuse to undermine the sovereignty and national security.

She stressed that China is firm in its determination and resolve to maintain its territorial sovereignty, security and legitimate maritime interests.

We will respond firmly to the deliberate provocations of any country, Hua said.

The American destroyer USS Lassen (DDG-82) entered last week waters near the Zhubi reef, part of China's Nansha Islands on the South China Sea, without permission from the government.

After this provocation, China protested strongly through official channels to the US administration, expressing strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition.

If the United States continues with this kind of dangerous and provocative actions, there could be a pressing situation between forces of the sea and air on both sides, or even a minor incident that provokes a war, said the Chinese navy in a statement last week.

The rivalry over the territory in the South China Sea has lasted for centuries, although tension has increased in recent years.

 

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News Code 111635

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