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China Warns US After Intercepting Jet

A US Navy P-3 aircraft (File Photo)A US Navy P-3 aircraft (File Photo)

The Chinese Defense Ministry has urged Washington to halt its military maneuvers near China’s borders as it violates the national security and sovereignty in the light of recent incidents, when Beijing intercepted a US military plane and a warship.

“Once again we are calling on the American side to take effective actions in order to avoid such incidents in the future. The Chinese military forces will responsibly fulfill their duties and strongly defend the national sovereignty and security,” the ministry said on Saturday, Sputnik reported.

On Thursday, the Chinese Defense Ministry accused Washington of militarizing the South China Sea region, following the sailing of the US Navy destroyer near the disputed Spratly Islands chain, while later media reported that Chinese fighter jets came within 100 feet of US anti-submarine and maritime surveillance P-3 Orion aircraft over the South China Sea.

The ministry added that the US aircraft was carrying out reconnaissance activities on Thursday near  Hong Kong’s airspace.

“Chinese Air Force conducted a friend or foe identification checking in accordance with the rules, the operation was carried out professionally and safely,” the ministry added.

According to the ministry, the increasing presence of the US military forces in the South China Sea is a threat to Beijing’s sovereignty.

China and several US allies in the region, namely Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines, have competing claims to the maritime borders and responsibility areas in the South China and East China seas.

In January 2013, the Philippines formally initiated arbitration proceedings against China’s claim on the Spratly Islands, also known as  Nansha Islands, with the the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling out in 2016 that the islands were not an exclusive economic zone for China. However, China refused to recognize the tribunal’s ruling.

 

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