Beijing | Chinese Navy Chief Admiral Wu Shengli has said that he is deeply concerned about American warship’s entry into the South China Sea, two days after a US guided missile destroyer patrolled the disputed area. Such dangerous and provocative acts have threatened China’s sovereignty and security and harmed regional peace and stability, Admiral Wu said during video-conference talks with his American counterpart Admiral John Richardson yesterday.
Wu warned that China will have to take all necessary measures to safeguard sovereignty and security if the US persists going its own way and ignoring China’s concern. On Tuesday, America’s guided missile destroyer USS Lassen entered waters near Zhubi Reef without the permission of the Chinese government, despite repeated opposition from China, said Wu, a member of the Central Military Commission.
Considering the big picture for Sino-US relations, Chinese Naval ships warned the US destroyer several times following the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES). The warnings were ignored by the US ship and the Chinese navy was deeply concerned, Wu was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency. China claims sovereignty on almost all of the South China Sea which is firmly opposed by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
The five countries are backed by US in staking their claims countering that of China. Wu said it is a well-known fact and the country’s consistent stance that China has irrefutable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and its adjacent waters. China’s island construction in the area has been conducted on its own territory and is a matter within the scope of Chinese sovereignty.
It is reasonable and legal and does not target or affect any other countries. It will not influence the freedom of navigation and flight enjoyed by other countries, he said. Freedom of navigation in the South China Sea has not had a problem in the past and will not have one now or in the future.
Such a principle does not provide a pretext or privilege for any nation to harm others’ sovereignty and security, he said. Wu said the US should not force other countries to accept its proposal and must not infringe upon other country’s interests in the name of maintaining freedom of navigation.
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