Nov. 20 (EIRNS)–China’s People’s Liberation Army naval commander Wu Shengli, meeting Wednesday in Shanghai with Admiral Scott Swift, head of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told him directly that the U.S. must stop the provocations in the South China Sea. The Chinese navy, he said, “bearing the bigger picture of bilateral ties in mind,” had exercised “maximum restraint” in the face of U.S. provocations, Xinhua reports today. Adm. Wu urged the U.S. to cherish the “good development” of ties between the countries, and “control” its maritime military operations. He commended Admiral Swift’s welcome visit to China as a sign that both sides attach great importance to the development and maintaining of the new type of major-country and military relations between the two sides, Xinhua said.
But, he added, “The U.S. conduct does not contribute to peace and stability in the South China Sea whatsoever. The U.S. cannot impose its own claims on other nations. It cannot sabotage other nations’ sovereignty and security.” He called the island-building by China “sensible, reasonable and legitimate,” adding that Chinese and U.S. navies should view their differences rationally, and avoid “situations of exigency.”
Admiral Swift, Xinhua reported, said the U.S. navy does not want the South China Sea to become an issue disrupting ties between the two sides, expressing hope that the two navies could maintain high-level exchanges and hold more joint drills.