Chinese Defense Ministry slams Pentagon for South China Sea drill accusation

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/9 23:48:59

The Type 054A guided-missile frigate Yulin (Hull 569) and the Type 052D guided-missile destroyer Hohhot (Hull 161) attached to a destroyer flotilla with the navy under the PLA Southern Theater Command steam in a stern formation during a maritime maneuver operation in waters of the South China Sea on June 18, 2020. ( by Li Hongming)


By accusing China's military exercises near the Xisha Islands of causing instability in the South China Sea, the US Defense Ministry disregarded the facts, confused right from wrong, and attempted to alienate countries in the region and reap unfair gains, China's Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday.

"We are strongly dissatisfied and are resolutely against this," said Defense Ministry spokesperson Ren Guoqiang in a statement.

Ren's remarks came after the Pentagon on July 2 claimed the Chinese drills, which were held in waters near China's Xisha Islands from July 1 to Sunday, were "counter-productive to efforts at easing tensions and maintaining stability," Reuters reported.

China announced the drills on June 27 as part of the annual training schedule, Ren said, noting that the drills were aimed at effectively boosting the Chinese military's maritime defense capability, resolutely safeguarding national sovereignty and security, and maintaining regional peace and stability.

The drills were not aimed at any specific country or target, the spokesperson said.

Under the joint efforts of China and ASEAN member states, the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable and moving toward a good direction. However, the US keeps sending large batches of advanced warships and aircraft to the South China Sea for provocations and muscle-flexing, conducting navigation hegemony operations many times and threatening regional security and stability, Ren said.

Only two days after accusing China's drills, the US on Saturday sent two aircraft carriers plus four other warships to the South China Sea for its largest-scale exercises in the region in years, CNN reported on Saturday.

The US is the biggest pusher of militarization in the South China Sea, and goes against the efforts and wishes of peace of countries in the region, Ren said.

China is committed to building an Asian community of a shared future with countries in the region, and developing friendly and cooperative relations based on respect, equality, and mutual benefit, the spokesperson said.

We hope the US can look back at its mistakes, stop provocative military operations in the South China Sea, stop groundless accusations against China, stop alienating countries in the region, and stop creating tensions, Ren said.

Global Times

Posted in: MILITARY

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