The USA, Vietnam, and the Philippines smashed China for provocative military exercises in the controversial waters of the South China Sea.
In the middle of a five-day exercise, which started on Wednesday near the Paracel Islands on a controversial archipelago, also claimed by Vietnam, South China Morning Post reported Friday.
While the Chinese Paracels refer to the Xisha Islands, Vietnam refers to them as the Hoang Sa Islands, and the two sides launched a Naval war on the islands that resulted in claiming ownership to China in 1974.
“Military exercises are the latest in a long PRC series [People’s Republic of China] Actions to claim illegal maritime claims and disadvantages to Southeast Asian neighbors in the South China Sea, ”US Department of Defense said in a statement.
“The actions of the PRC are able to follow economic growth in line with international rules and norms that have been adopted, as opposed to the South China Sea and the United States’ commitment not to militarize the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, regardless of the sovereignty of all major and small nations,” he said. .
The U.S. urged China to “reduce its militarization in the South China Sea and the strain of its neighbors”.
U.S. criticism came with Beijing and Washington doing thorny trade on a wide range of Taiwan related issues, and the new Beijing brought national security legislation in Hong Kong.
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian claimed on Friday that the Paracel Islands are indisputable on the territory of China and dominated by the exercise of the People’s Liberation Army in the waters.
“Some countries outside the region often come all the way to carry out great military activities to stretch their muscles, and this is the main reason that affects stability in the South China Sea,” Zhao said, apparently referring to the US making drills. In the region with South Korea and other allies.
On Thursday, the US Pacific Fleet USS Gabrielle Giffords said that its littoral warship was carrying out routine operations in the South China Sea.
Vietnam and the Philippines also hit China’s military exercise.
Philippine Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana said China’s exercises near the Paracel Islands were “extremely provocative”, the Vietnamese foreign ministry called them a violation of sovereignty that could harm Beijing’s relationship with the Southeast Asian Nations Union.
Spokesman Le Thi Thu Hang sent a diplomatic note to China against the Vietnam ministry’s “serious violations of Vietnam’s sovereignty” exercises.
The drills “complicate the situation even more and damage the relationship between China and Asean,” he said.
The South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative, a think tank affiliated with Peking University, said on Friday that 692 Vietnamese fishing vessels “entered” the waters of China in the South China Sea from 569 in May.