- China voices opposition on the on-going Japan-US military activities at South China Sea
- Japan’s Defense Minister Gen Nakatani and Adm. Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command agrees that military drills will push through
- China’s foreign ministry spokesman “urge relevant countries to contribute to upholding peace and stability of the South China”
BEIJING, China – With the ongoing joint military drills of Japan and the United States in the disputed areas in the South China Sea, China spoke out on Thursday showing their opposition with the activity.
“We urge relevant countries to contribute to upholding peace and stability of the South China Sea instead of flexing their muscles, creating tensions and promoting militarization of the sea,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said as quoted in an article by Xinhua published on November 26.
The foreign ministry spokesman made the comment during a news conference when asked by a reporter about the agreement between Japan and USA. The reporter was pertaining to an agreement between Japan’s Defense Minister Gen Nakatani and Adm. Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, on Tuesday in Hawaii to continue the exercises in the disputed waters.
The joint drills between the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the U.S. military are widely seen by global media as an activity aimed at keeping in check the increasingly assertive China in regional waters.
China claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, which is a crucial international shipping route and believed to be rich in mineral resources. The country is competing its territorial claims with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
An article by Interaksyon published on November 26 mentioned that China’s massive and fast-paced land reclamation work and island-building in the South China Sea have distressed the smaller Asian countries which then heightened the regional tensions.
Reports emerged that the structures being built by China in the reclaimed area include a runway long enough to accommodate military aircraft.
Although Japan and the United States don’t have respective claims in the area, they have called for ensuring freedom of navigation in the sea. The two powerful countries also “criticized any unilateral attempt to change the status quo.”
An article by ABS CBN News published on November 27 mentioned Harris informing Nakatani that United States will continue with the operation at the disputed waters.
Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian criticized the U.S. operation on Thursday, saying that it has “seriously threatened China’s sovereignty and security.”
Qian said that Chinese military will take “necessary measures” if the United States sends another vessel into what it calls its territorial waters.
“There has been no problem with freedom of navigation in the South China Sea,” he added.