Chinese navy now imposing security zone over Spratlys
01 January, 2016, 01:29
The US military flew one of its strategic bombers this week, the menacing B-52 aircraft, close to the Spratly islands in the disputed South China Sea, which in turn prompted China to react in the usual manner in situations of this kind, especially involving the world's only superpower, the US.
In the last two years, China has begun constructing islands on top of the reefs and claiming territorial seas around them to gain fishing and resource rights to most of the South China Sea.
"The way China has propelled the global economy in this century, it should also propel peace in the region", he said.
A Defense Ministry statement Saturday says the U.S.is deliberately raising tensions in the disputed region.
Responding to China's protests, Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright said that the December 10 mission was not a "freedom of navigation" operation and that there was "no intention of flying within 12 nautical miles of any feature", indicating the mission may have strayed off course.
Freedom of navigation operations are missions conducted to challenge what the USA believes are excessive territorial claims made by other countries.
Military personnel on the island went on high alert and warned the aircraft to leave, the ministry said.
In this context, the neighbours of China have legitimate concerns, as China hopes that each island lets it claim the waters within a radius of 12 nautical miles as its own - a precarious development. Earlier, Mr. Le pointed out in his speech delivered at the event that the maritime boundary of China in the South China Sea was legitimate and flexing military muscles by other countries was not going to help maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
China's Defense Ministry demanded that Washington immediately takes action to prevent such incidents and damage to relations between the two nations' militaries.
The move - called a freedom of navigation patrol by the United States and an "irresponsible" and unprecedented act of provocation by the Chinese - caught many off-guard. "This will make it worse", Mr Le Yuchneg, Chinese ambassador to India, said in an apparent message to the United States and India.
The latest tension over the South China Sea comes a week after the USA approved a $1.8 billion (1.65 billion euros) arms deal to Taiwan for warships, missiles and amphibious assault vehicles. The statement came after two American bombers flew into China's territory in the South China Sea.
On Wednesday, Beijing filed a formal diplomatic complaint and the Foreign Ministry said it would take "necessary measures, including the imposition of sanctions against companies participating in the arms sale to Taiwan".