|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Remarks on the US Warship's Entry into the Neighboring Waters of China's Islands and Reefs in the South China Sea|
Q: According to our information, USS Mustin entered the neighboring waters of relevant islands and reefs of China's Nansha Qundao on March 23. What is your comment?
A: On March 23, USS Mustin entered the neighboring waters of relevant islands and reefs of China's Nansha Qundao without the permission of the Chinese government. The Chinese Navy has identified and verified the US warship and warned it to leave in accordance with the law. The relevant act of the US side has violated the Chinese law and relevant international law, infringed upon China's sovereignty, undermined peace, security and order of the relevant waters and put in jeopardy the facilities and personnel on the Chinese islands, and thus constitutes a serious political and military provocation.
China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Qundao and its adjacent waters. China always respects and safeguards the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea all countries are entitled to under international law, but firmly opposes any country or person undermining the sovereignty and security of littoral countries under the pretext of "freedom of navigation and overflight". At present, the situation in the South China Sea has been improving thanks to the concerted efforts of China and ASEAN member states. Under such circumstance, the US, who deliberately stirs up troubles and creates tension in the South China Sea to disrupt peace and stability there, is running against the will of regional countries who aspire for stability, cooperation and development, and thus unpopular at all.
The Chinese side strongly urges the US side to immediately stop provocative operations that violate China's sovereignty and threaten China's security and faithfully respect the regional countries' concerted efforts to uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea. The Chinese side will continue to take all necessary measures to defend its national sovereignty and security and safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.