BEIJING, May 20 -- The US warship’s passing through the Taiwan Strait and in succession trespassing into China's territorial waters off the Xisha Islands within several days is a serious provocation and very bad in nature, China firmly opposes and strongly condemns it, said Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Thursday in a written statement.
The US missile destroyer Curtis Wilbur passed through the Taiwan Strait on May 18 and consecutively trespassed into China's territorial waters off the Xisha Islands on May 20 without China’s approval. In response, the relevant theater command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army sent naval vessels and aircrafts to track and monitor and warn off the US destroyer in accordance with the laws and regulations, said the spokesperson.
Tan pointed out that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, Taiwan question is purely China's internal affairs and concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and is the most important and sensitive issue in China-U.S. relations. The frequent passage of US warships through the Taiwan Strait to show off force and create crisis sent erroneous signals to the "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces, which is extremely irresponsible and dangerous, nothing short of “playing with fire," warned Tan.
Tan stated that the Xisha Islands are an inherent part of the Chinese territory, and the Chinese government announced the baseline of the territorial waters off the Xisha Islands in 1996 according to the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone. The US warship’s trespass into China’s territorial waters off the Xisha Islands goes against the Chinese law and relevant international law, has seriously infringed upon China's sovereignty and security, and disrupted peace, security and order of the relevant waters, he said.
The spokesperson urged the US side to have a clear knowledge of the situation, stop provocation and abide by the one-China principle and provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués, contribute more to regional peace and stability and stop creating obstacles and stirring up troubles for relations between the two countries and their militaries.
The Chinese military will take all necessary measures to respond to all threats and provocations and firmly safeguard China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity, the spokesperson stressed.