China urges US, Japan not to flex muscles on South China Sea

Beijing, Nov 26 (IANS) China on Thursday urged the US and Japan not to show off military might and create tension in the South China Sea.

Japan’s Defence Minister General Nakatani and US Pacific Command chief Admiral Harry Harris agreed to continue joint drills between the US military and Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force, as well as helping Southeast Asian countries increase their capabilities, Xinhua reported.

“We call on relevant countries to do things that contribute to peace and stability on the South China Sea and refrain from flexing muscles, creating tension or militarising the area,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a news briefing.

China’s defence ministry also warned the US not to send military vessels again to Chinese territory in the South China Sea, after US infuriated China by sailing warship USS Lassen to waters near Zhubi Reef in what they call freedom of navigation patrol.

“There is no problem with freedom of navigation. We urge the US not to be provocative under this pretext,” defence ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said in answer to a journalist’s question about possible US freedom of navigation operations in South China Sea.

“The Chinese military will take all the necessary measures to safeguard national sovereignty, security and maritime rights,” Wu added.

–Indo-Asia News Service


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