Defense Ministry responds to U.S. warship patrol

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Ouyang
2016-05-11 17:32

BEIJING, May 11 (ChinaMil) -- The Chinese military has taken immediate countermoves as the USS William P. Lawrence of the U.S. Navy entered waters near Yongshu Reef of China's Nansha Islands in the South China Sea illegally without Chinese government's permission on May 10, China's Ministry of National Defense said on Tuesday.

According to Senior Col. Yang Yujun, who is spokesperson of the Chinese Defense Ministry, two J-11 fighter jets and one Y-8 AWACS of PLA Navy's aviation force scrambled to relevant sea areas for patrol and keeping close watch on the U.S. warship, while the guided-missile destroyer Guangzhou, two frigates Mianyang and Linfen immediately reached out to identify and track the U.S. warship and warn it to leave.

"The unauthorized illegal entry into Chinese waters near China's Nansha islands by the U.S. warships and warplanes is a serious provocation," said Yang, emphasizing that the Chinese side had repeatedly pointed out the harmfulness of such actions and lodged stern warnings to the U. S. side, but the U.S. paid no attention and sent once again its warship to China's territorial waters near the Nansha Islands for provocation.

"We cannot help but ask how far the U.S. tries to go on the way of pushing forward militarization of the South China Sea and undermining the peace and stability in that region," Yang said.

He pointed out that the provocations by U.S. warships and aircraft revealed its intension to make waves in the region and reap gains from it, and further proved that China's construction of defense facilities on related islets and reefs in the Nansha islands is absolutely justified and necessary.

It should be noted that the U.S. military vessels and aircrafts' entry into waters near the Nansha islands and reefs cannot change the fact that China has sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and the surrounding sea areas, and the U.S. military's provocations are useless, the spokesman said.

He reiterated that China will intensify sea and air patrol and enhance construction of defense capabilities in the area as needed, firmly safeguard national sovereignty and security and resolutely maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

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