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China summons US envoy over warship sailing in South China Sea reef

Beijing: China Wednesday said the US’ naval and air incursions in the artificial islands in theSouth China Sea will be counter-productive leading to “miscalculation” and “crisis”, as Beijing summoned the American ambassador to protest the US Navy’s sailing of a warship into the disputed waters.


China resorted to high pitch protests by summoning US Ambassador Max Baucus yesterday to protest against American warship USS Lassen, a guided missile destroyer, sailing close to the artificial islands being built by China in the disputed SCS.

China’s Foreign Ministry said on its website today that Executive Vice Minister Zhang Yesui told Max Bacaus that the US had acted in defiance of repeated Chinese objections and had threatened China’s sovereignty and security.

Chinese officials are concerned over assertions by US officials that Washington will send more ships through the area, challenging Beijing’s claims of sovereignty.

“China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha (Spratly) islands adjacent waters. The US vessel sailed into the SCS and relevant waters without permission jeopardising the security of personnel and facilities of the relevant island,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang told media briefing here today.

“It is a provocation and violates the UN law of the sea and as well as China’s domestic law,” he said.

Notwithstanding the Chinese allegations of a provocative behaviour after the US warship entered the disputed SCS, a US official has said in Washington that US Navy will send more warships to sail close to the artificial islands built by Beijing in the disputed waters.

The US’ move has caused concerns among Chinese officials as it?exposed Beijing’s limitations.

China and the US in September signed two documents on “notification of military crisis” and “encounters in the air” in a bid to avoid military conflicts caused by miscalculation over the seas, state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Referring to recent statement by vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission Fan Changlong at a security forum earlier this month that?China will not use force recklessly, even when it comes to issues related to territory and sovereignty, a Xinhua commentary said that it does not mean China will renounce the use of force.

“Misinterpretation by the US may cause more miscalculation and could lead to crisis,” it said.

“Both the Chinese and US people should not forget the mid-air collision between a US reconnaissance plane and a Chinese fighter jet in China’s Hainan Island airspace in 2001, during which a Chinese pilot was killed,” it said.

“That tragedy was caused by the prolonged adoption of a cold-war mentality by the US, which led it to monitor China’s every activity. Such incidents may take place again if the US does not discard its stereotypes of China, though the results may become more unpredictable,” it said.


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