China calls on US to end military surveillance off coast

China called on the United States States to cease air and sea military surveillance off the Chinese coast after a series of territorial disputes this year.

China calls on US to end military surveillance off coast

China called on the United States States to cease air and sea military surveillance off the Chinese coast after a series of territorial disputes this year.

The request was made during a special session on maritime safety between the two countries' militaries on Wednesday and Thursday, Xinhua news agency said on Thursday, citing China's Defence Ministry.

Five times this year, Chinese vessels have confronted U.S. surveillance ships in Asian waters, the U.S. Defense Department said in May. China said the U.S. vessels had intruded its territory. There has since been a sixth incident.

"China believes the constant U.S. military air and sea surveillance and survey operations in China's exclusive economic zone had led to military confrontations between the two sides," the ministry said.

"The way to resolve China-U.S. maritime incidents is for the U.S. to change its surveillance and survey operations policies against China, decrease and eventually stop such operations."

Susan Stevenson, spokeswoman at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, confirmed the request.

"Our position has not changed," Stevenson said, citing a U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy statement during a June visit to China that the U.S. exercises its "freedom of navigation" while putting emphasis on taking care to avoid any unwanted incidents".

Reuters
Last Mod: 28 Ağustos 2009, 11:17
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