China’s defence ministry has been accusing the U.S. of interfering with and surveilling naval operations in the South China Sea right before an incident during which a fighter jet intercepted a spy plane belonging to the U.S. last week.
The Southern Theater Command of China’s military mentioned in its Wednesday statement that it operated professionally and followed all laws and regulations. However, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command has also accused the pilot of China’s J-16 fighter of performing aggressive manoeuvres while also intercepting the RC-135 aircraft of the U.S. Air Force.
The U.S. further reported that the Chinese jet flew in front of its aircraft’s nose directly.
The U.S. stated that the RC-135 had been conducting its safe, routine operations over the South China Sea in international airspace, following relevant international law.
Senior Col. Zhang Nandong, a spokesperson associated with the Southern Theater Command, mentioned that the U.S. has been extending false accusations to confuse the larger international community, calling on the U.S. to restrain actions of front-line air and naval forces, abide by international laws and agreements, and prevent accidents in the air and at sea.
China has claimed that almost the South China Sea is its, but the U.S. refuses to recognize such a claim.
Mao Ning, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, mentioned on Wednesday that the U.S. must stop such harmful acts of provocation, which threaten the security and sovereignty of China.
She explained that such dangerous and provocative moves are the primary cause of maritime security issues.
In recent months, there have been rising tensions between
Washington and Beijing as China has condemned the U.S.’ support toward Taiwan, a self-governing democratic island China claims to belong to its territory.
China has carried out several military drills close to the island over 2022, spurring fears that it might plan on invading Taiwan as part of reunification efforts.
China added that its defence chief has refused to meet Lloyd Austin, the Defense Secretary, while both are at a security conference in Singapore over the weekend.
References: Yahoo, The Hill
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