- Title: China rejects U.S. criticism of military drills in South China Sea
- Date: 3rd July 2020
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (JULY 3, 2020) (REUTERS) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ARRIVING AT NEWS CONFERENCE MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ZHAO LIJIAN, SAYING: "The Xisha Islands are China's inherent territory and there is no dispute over them. It is within China's sovereignty to conduct military exercises in relevant waters of the Xisha Islands, and it is beyond reproach. Certain non-regional countries have travelled far to engage in large-scale military activities and flex muscles in the South China Sea, and this is the root cause of instability in the region." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS EXTERIOR OF CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY CHINESE FLAG FLYING
- Embargoed: 17th July 2020 10:41
- Keywords: China Pentagon South China Sea foreign ministry briefing military drill the United States
- Location: BEIJING, CHINA
- City: BEIJING, CHINA
- Country: China
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001CL97P6V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: China on Friday (July 3) rejected criticism by the U.S. Defense Department of its plan to hold military exercises in the South China Sea, and suggested that Washington was to blame for increased tensions in the region.
"It is within China's sovereignty to conduct military exercises in relevant waters of the Xisha Islands, and it is beyond reproach. Certain non-regional countries have travelled far to engage in large-scale military activities and flex muscles in the South China Sea, and this is the root cause of instability in the region," said Zhao Lijian, the spokesman of Chinese foreign ministry at a regular news briefing.
Zhao did not name any countries, but the U.S. has conducted multiple freedom of navigation operations by sending its warships through the area to assert the freedom of access to international waterways.
The Pentagon said in a statement on Thursday (July 2) that conducting military exercises over disputed territory in the South China Sea was "counter-productive to efforts at easing tensions and maintaining stability."
China announced last week it had scheduled five days of drills starting July 1 near the Paracel Islands, which are claimed by both Vietnam and China.
Vietnam and the Philippines have also criticized the planned Chinese drills, warning it could create tension in the region and impact Beijing's relationship with its neighbours.
(Production: Shubing Wang, Irene Wang)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None