US Navy in South China Sea not good for peace: Beijing
BEIJING (CHINA) – The Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday that the US often despatches ships and aircraft into the South China Sea as a sort of sabre rattling which is not good for peace. This comes after a US aircraft carrier group sailed into the disputed waterway.
Trillions of dollars worth of trade is done through the strategic South China Sea and it is a bone of contention between China and the US. The presence of US warships has miffed China.
The US carrier group was led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt accompanied by three warships. They entered the waterway on Saturday to promote “freedom of the seas”, said the US military.
“The United States frequently sends aircraft and vessels into the South China Sea to flex its muscles,” said foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.
“This is not conducive to peace and stability in the region.”
China has raised complaints many times about US Navy vessels sailing really close to its islands in the South China Sea, where Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan all have competing claims.
The carrier group from the US entered the waterway at the same time as Taiwan reported incursions by Chinese air force jets.
China is yet to comment on what its air force was doing over Taiwan, which it claims to be its sovereign territory. He reiterated that the US should abide by the “one-China” principle.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s office said on Monday that she visited a radar base in the north of the island and praised its ability to keep track of Chinese troops.
“From last year until now, our radar station has detected nearly 2,000 communist aircraft and more than 400 communist ships, allowing us to quickly monitor and drive them away, and fully guard the sea and airspace,” she told officers.