Saturday, October 10, 2015

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

China has sent a warning that appears directed at the United States to not engage in what it has called “provocative behavior” in the South China Sea.

The warning followed news reports Thursday that the U.S. military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building in hopes of bolstering its claims in the disputed waters.

According to the reports, U.S. officials have said they are considering sailing warships inside the 12-nautical-mile zones of the artificial islands that Beijing claims are a legitimate extension of its territory within the next two weeks.

Neither the Pentagon nor the White House confirmed the reports. Last month, when U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter was speaking about the situation in the South China Sea, he said the United States would, “fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as U.S. forces do all over the world.”

The United States does not recognize China’s territorial claims in the region, which also are contested by the Philippines, Vietnam and other countries.

Responding to a question on the possible U.S. patrols Friday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that Beijing “will never allow any country to violate China’s territorial waters and airspace in the Spratly Islands, in the name of protecting freedom of navigation and overflight.”.......





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