PLA navy operations abide by international law: experts

By Zhang Hui Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/23 22:23:40

Western countries' use of the legitimate presence of Chinese naval ships in international waters to preach their "China threat" theory will not affect China's operations, Chinese military experts said.

A Chinese navy ship, which Western countries claim is a "spy" ship, sailed off the Australian coast near large war games between the US, New Zealand and Australian militaries, Reuters reported Saturday, citing  a statement from the Australian Defense Force (ADF).

The Chinese ship remained outside Australian territorial waters but was inside the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone in the Coral Sea, the ADF's statement said.

"The vessel's presence has not detracted from the exercise's objectives," Reuters quoted the ADF as saying.

The biennial joint military exercise Talisman Sabre involves more than 30,000 defense personnel from the three countries, which will end in late July, Reuters reported.

"Calling China's navy vessel a 'spy' ship to monitor military drills is an exaggeration, claim since the sailing of the Chinese ship inside the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone is consistent with international law," Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval expert, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Li said that Chinese ships usually sail in international waters or within exclusive economic zone of a country for peaceful purposes, such as for  oceanographic research, which will not threaten regional security.

This was not the first time that Western media speculated about Chinese naval ships. On July 14, CNN quoted US officials as saying that a Chinese "spy" ship had sailed in international waters off the coast of Alaska to observe the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile defense system test.

"Western countries like the US are trying to hype the 'China threat' theory and continue its rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region," Li said, adding that China's normal operations will not be obstructed.

Posted in: MILITARY

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