Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Beijing accuses US of “provocation” over an air incident in the South China Sea


China and the US accused each other of provocation following an aerial incident in the South China Sea.

China’s government has expressed displeasure over what it called a “provocation” by the United States following an incident last week between a Chinese fighter jet and a US military surveillance plane in the South China Sea.

Chinese military spokesman Zhang Nandong said in a statement that a US RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft deliberately entered their training area. According to Zhang, China had to send planes to chase and monitor American planes. Mao Ning, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, called these moves provocative and dangerous and called on the United States to stop these actions immediately.

Hours later, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged China to establish better communication with Washington. Blinken stressed the importance of regular and open lines of communication, including with the Defense Ministers. However, Washington claimed that China refused to hold a meeting between the defense ministers in Singapore. Blinken found this unfortunate and emphasized that miscommunication and misunderstandings were dangerous.

The Pentagon said that the pilot of the Chinese fighter jet made aggressive and unnecessary maneuvers near the American surveillance plane. Blinken reiterated this statement and noted that similar actions have been taken by China in recent months not only against the United States but also against other countries.

The incident escalated tensions between China and the United States, whose ties are already strained over differences over Taiwan and the discovery of a suspected Chinese spy balloon over the United States earlier this year. China believes that the frequent and prolonged dispatch of US ships and aircraft for surveillance activities near its territory harms its sovereignty and national security. The Chinese government affirmed that it will take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and security.

Despite this, both China and America have tried to calm things down. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other top US officials are working to strengthen alliances with Asian countries to counter Chinese influence. Recently, President Joe Biden announced that he expected bilateral relations to cool down soon.

(Tags to translate) US Fighter (T) China Sea (T) Zhang Nandong

Nation World News Desk
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