Friday, August 28, 2009
China’s defense ministry expresses anger over the US military surveillance operations in its coastal waters, but warning apparently falls on deaf ears in Washington.
During two days of talks this week in Beijing between the two countries on maritime issues, Senior Chinese officials demanded the United States to end military surveillance operations in the region.
“The constant US air and sea surveillance and survey operations in China’s exclusive economic zone is the root cause of problems between the navies and air forces of China and the US,” China’s defense ministry said in a statement on Friday.
US officials have meanwhile insisted that it is free to navigate in waters off the Chinese coast.
Reacting to the statement, a senior official at the US embassy in Beijing said Washington policy “on the issue had not changed”
The patrol sparked confrontations between Chinese and US vessels in the South China Sea early this year.
In two separate incidents Chinese fishing boats confronted US naval surveillance vessels in March 2009.
The incident prompted a diplomatic row between the two countries.
Beijing has been engaged in an unprecedented war of words over Washington’s controversial naval patrol since some past months.
Differences have emerged between China and Western countries in recent years over a range of issues including nuclear and cyber security.
Furthermore, Beijing accuses the US and its regional allies of inciting ethnic unrest in Tibet and Xinjiang province.
China believes that elements supported by the US and its allies are trying to sabotage China’s growth and prosperity.
Senior officials in Beijing have accused the US naval ships of engaging in espionage activities outside China’s territorial waters, which end 12 nautical miles from the coast.
This article was posted: Friday, August 28, 2009 at 4:06 am