US invoking UNCLOS reveals its hegemonic nature: Defense Spokesperson

China Military Online
Li Jiayao
2024-05-17 19:34:57

BEIJING, May 17 -- "The US military vessel sailed through the Taiwan Strait, trespassed into the territorial sea and internal waters of China's Xisha Qundao and hyped up the action. The Chinese side strongly deplores and firmly opposes that," said a Chinese defense spokesperson on Friday.

It's reported that the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey recently sailed through the Taiwan Strait and trespassed into the territorial sea of China's Xisha Qundao. The US side claimed that "it's unlawful to draw straight baselines around" Xisha Qundao according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and it "will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows".

In response to that, Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, said that the Chinese side strongly deplores and firmly opposes the action of the US and has lodged solemn representations with the US side, and the spokespersons of the PLA Eastern Theater Command and Southern Theater Command had also responded to this move.

Snr. Col. Zhang pointed out that in the current cross-Strait situation, deliberate provocations by the US side pose a threat to China's sovereignty and security, send wrong signals to the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces and damage regional peace and stability.

He stressed that Xisha Qundao is China's inherent territory. The Chinese government released the baselines of the territorial sea of Xisha Qundao as early as in 1996. What China did was in line with international law and practices.

"The US side is not a State Party to UNCLOS, but it kept invoking the Convention to make an issue of it, and even sent military vessels to intrude into the territorial sea and internal waters of Xisha Qundao. Such provocative moves violated China's sovereignty, threatened our national security and undermined regional peace and stability. They are typical behaviors of hegemony," said Snr. Col. Zhang.

The wrongdoings of the US side are not conducive to stopping the further deterioration of and maintaining the stabilization momentum of the relations between China and the US as well as the two militaries, said the spokesperson. "The PLA will stay on high alert, take resolute countermeasures against any infringement and provocation, and firmly safeguard China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity."

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