China urges US to cease hostile naval, airforce manoeuvres

The US navy and air force conduct highly targeted exercises and training for long periods of time near China. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (XINHUA) - A Chinese defence spokesman on Thursday (Dec 30) urged the United States to cease hostile naval and airforce manoeuvres against China.

Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, deputy head of the Information Office at the ministry, made the remarks in response to a question during a media conference regarding a video meeting recently held by Chinese and American militaries under their Maritime Military Consultative Agreement mechanism.

Col Tan said that in maintaining military air and maritime safety of China and the US, the most fundamental solution is that the American side desists from hostile manoeuvres.

The US navy and air force conduct reconnaissance, surveying and highly targeted exercises and training for long periods of time near China, and frequently carries out infringing and provocative maneuvers. This is the root cause of military air and maritime safety issues between China and the US, he said.

Col Tan also stressed that actions of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in the waters and airspace around Taiwan have clear objectives, reaffirming the military's resolve to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

His comments were in response to a question regarding the recent actions of PLA aircraft that have been hyped up by Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party.

Over the past year, the PLA has conducted regular patrols and combat drills in the waters and airspace around the island, Col Tan said.

He noted that the objectives of these actions are very clear: to take decisive countermeasures against the egregious actions of forces within and outside the island to collude and challenge the one-China principle; to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity; and to concretely safeguard the common welfare of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait as well as maintain peace and stability.

He said the root cause for the mounting tension across the Taiwan Strait is the provocations seeking "Taiwan independence" by the Democratic Progressive Party and separatist forces on the island, as well as the attempts from some external forces to contain China.

Col Tan stressed that it is the PLA's unshirkable responsibility to safeguard China's sovereignty and security as well as deter "Taiwan independence" separatism.

On Japan, Col Tan said China hopes that the country can earnestly reflect on its history of aggression and exercise self-discipline by drawing lessons from the past.

Col Tan said Japan has recently been attempting to break away from its "exclusively defence-oriented policy" and blamed surrounding countries for military confrontation, which is extremely wrong and dangerous.

The wars of aggression waged by Japanese militarists had brought enormous suffering to China and other countries and their peoples in the region, he said.

China urges Japan to abide by the principles established in the four political documents between the two countries, prudently and properly handle relevant sensitive issues and contribute to enhancing mutual trust with neighbouring countries and maintaining regional peace and stability, Col Tan added.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.