Pentagon criticizes Chinese army drills in disputed South China Sea – Reuters

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WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – China on Friday turned down criticism by the U.S. Defense Section of its prepare to hold military services exercise routines in the South China Sea, and instructed that Washington was to blame for increased tensions in the location.

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The Pentagon stated in a statement on Thursday that conducting navy routines over disputed territory in the South China Sea was “counter-productive to initiatives at easing tensions and retaining stability”.

China introduced very last week it had scheduled 5 days of drills setting up July one in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands, which are claimed by both equally Vietnam and China.

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“The navy workouts are the newest in a lengthy string of PRC steps to assert illegal maritime statements and downside its Southeast Asian neighbors in the South China Sea,” the Pentagon statement explained, referring to the People’s Republic of China.

Vietnam and the Philippines have also criticized the prepared Chinese drills, warning it could produce pressure in the area and impact Beijing’s connection with its neighbors.

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Philippine International Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin warned China on Friday “it will be satisfied with the severest response, diplomatic and regardless of what else is appropriate” must the routines spill about to Philippine territory.

“To be certain, China is just as entitled, as any other energy, to invoke flexibility of navigation in its military services exercises. But that independence, it bears reminding, needs a straight and uninterrupted voyage,” Locsin explained.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, requested about the Pentagon’s reviews for the duration of a day-to-day briefing in Beijing, reported the armed service exercise routines are within just the scope of China’s sovereignty and mentioned that selected “non-regional countries” conducting army routines in the South China Sea are affecting the region’s steadiness.

Zhao did not identify any nations, but the United States has carried out numerous independence of navigation functions by sending its warships by way of the space to assert the flexibility of obtain to worldwide waterways.

The United States accuses China of militarizing the South China Sea and making an attempt to intimidate Asian neighbors who may want to exploit its intensive oil and gasoline reserves.

China statements ninety% of the most likely electrical power-rich South China Sea, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also lay declare to pieces of it, by which about $three trillion of trade passes each and every calendar year.

Reporting by Eric Beech in Washington and Gabriel Crossley in Beijing Enhancing by Daniel Wallis, Raju Gopalakrishnan and Kim Coghill

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