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China Lodges Complaint  Over US Spy Plane Flight
International

China Lodges Complaint Over US Spy Plane Flight

China said it had lodged a complaint with the United States over a US spy plane that flew over parts of the disputed South China Sea in a diplomatic row that has fuelled tension between the world’s two largest economies.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday China had lodged a complaint and that it opposed “provocative behavior” by the US, Reuters reported. “We urge the US to correct its error, remain rational and stop all irresponsible words and deeds,” she said. “Freedom of navigation and overflight by no means mean that foreign countries’ warships and military aircraft can ignore the legitimate rights of other countries as well as the safety of aviation and navigation.”
China had noted “ear-piercing voices” from many in the US about China’s construction on the islands and reefs.
Friction in the region has grown over China’s land reclamation in the Spratly islands. China last week said it was “strongly dissatisfied” after a US spy plane flew over areas near the reefs, with both sides accusing each other of stoking instability.
China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims. The US has routinely called on all claimants to halt reclamation in the Spratlys, but accuses China of carrying out work on a scale that far outstrips any other country.
Washington has also vowed to keep up air and sea patrols in the South China Sea amid concerns among security experts that China might impose air and sea restrictions in the Spratlys once it completes work on its seven artificial islands.
China has said it has every right to set up an Air Defense Identification Zone in the South China Sea but that current conditions did not warrant one.

 

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