China Accuses US of “Militarizing” South China Sea; Announces Joint China-Russia Naval Exercises in Sea of Japan
July 30, 2015 (EIRNS)–China’s Defense Ministry spokesman, Yang Yujun, today accused the US of militarizing the South China Sea.
“The US side disregards and distorts the facts, and plays up China’s military threat, to sow discord between China and the littoral states in the South China Sea,” said Yang. “We firmly oppose such actions. The Chinese side expresses its serious concern over US activities to militarize the South China Sea region. Such actions taken by the US side would inevitably arouse suspicion from others that, does the US want nothing better than chaos in the region?”
The head of U.S. Pacific Command, Adm. Harry Harris, this week warned China against militarizing the South China Sea (which, of course, is at least partially Chinese territory), calling the area “front and center in the tug-of-war between the majority of regional nations that want to maintain the status quo, and China that wants to change it to suit its narrow self-interest.”
China’s Yang countered this, noting that the status quo was being dramatically altered, not by China, but by the US militarization, including building up alliances in the region (such as the mass deployment of advanced US military forces into the Philippines), stepped-up joint exercises in the region, bringing Japan into exercises far from its borders, and increased provocative close-in reconnaissance of the Chinese armed forces.
China held a one-day, live-fire naval drill in the South China Sea on July 28, and will hold large naval exercises in the South China Sea between Aug 1-8, to mark the 88th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army.
Defense spokesman Yang also announced today that Russia and China will hold joint naval exercises from Aug. 20-28 in the Sea of Japan and in the Gulf of Peter the Great, which lies off the strategic Far Eastern Russian port city of Vladivostok.