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PRESS RELEASE


China Responds to U.S. Navy Provocations in South China Sea

May 29, 2017 (EIRNS)—Twice in the past week, the U.S. Navy has carried out provocations in the South China Sea. On May 24, the U.S.S. Dewey, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, sailed to within 12 miles of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, where China has built an artificial island, during a so-called "freedom of navigation operation," the first since President Trump has been in office. Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Ren Guoqiang, during a press briefing on May 25, confirmed the incident and reported that two Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy missile frigates identified the U.S. ship and warned it away.

"We urge the U.S. side to take concrete measures to correct its mistake and put more positive energy into the development of state-to-state and mil-to-mil relationship,"

Ren said.

"The misconduct of the U.S. military will only motivate the Chinese military to strengthen its capabilities and to defend its national sovereignty and security in a more resolute manner."

Then on May 26, a U.S. Navy P-3 maritime reconnaissance aircraft was intercepted over the South China Sea by two Chinese J-10 fighters. The Pentagon complained that the Chinese intercept was carried out in an unsafe manner, and would be conveying its concerns to the Chinese government "through appropriate channels." Senior Colonel Wu Qian, deputy director of the Information Office of China’s Ministry Of National Defense, responded to the incident in a short statement on May 28, stressing that "the U.S. account of the interception did not accord with the facts." Wu Qian said that an American surveillance aircraft was conducting surveillance activity in the southeast airspace of China’s Hong Kong on May 25 and the Chinese military planes identified and verified the aircraft in accordance with laws and regulations.

"The relevant actions were professional and safe," Wu said, according to a statement posted on the Chinese military website. Wu added that the U.S. military has been conducting close-in reconnaissance activities frequently in the recent period and that these are not only an infringement on China’s sovereignty but also are the root cause of military security problems between China and the United States at sea and in the air. "We urge the U.S. again to take effective measures to correct its mistake and prevent similar incidents happening again," Wu said.