China’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Friday denounced in a statement the U.S. missile destroyer USS McCain’s provocative behavior of entering nearby waters of relevant maritime features of China’s Nansha Islands without permission on Thursday.
The guided-missile frigates Huaibei and Fushun of the PLA Navy took immediate actions by conducting identification and verification of the U.S. vessel and warning it away, said Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson of China’s Defense Ministry, in a written statement.
China has undisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters, and the intentions of the U.S. by sending its military vessels to the South China Sea has already been evident to all, the statement said.
Chinese military is resolutely opposed to such kind of muscle-flexing behavior of the U.S. side, which will promote militarization in the region and is most likely to cause unexpected accidents at sea and in the air, said the statement.
The situation in the South China Sea has shown positive signs for some time thanks to the joint efforts of China and the other countries at the rim of the South China Sea, said the statement.
Nevertheless, the U.S. side, in the name of “freedom of navigation”, has made repeated provocations by dispatching its military vessels and aircraft to enter waters off Chinese islands and reefs in the South China Sea, such illegal behavior seriously threatens China’s sovereignty and security interests, gravely endanger life safety of the frontline personnel of both sides, and severely jeopardize regional peace and stability, the statement said.
The above-mentioned provocative actions by the U.S. side have seriously undermined China-U.S. strategic mutual trust and created obstacles to the development of relations between the two militaries, despite of the general stability of the mil-to-mil relations between China and the U.S. at present, the statement said.
In the end of the statement, China’s Defense Ministry strongly urges the U.S. side to immediately correct its mistakes and stop the unlawful provocations on the pretext of the so-called “freedom of navigation.”
The U.S. military’s provocative actions will only push the Chinese military to further strengthen its defense capabilities to safeguard national sovereignty and security, the spokesperson stressed.