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Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui Makes Stern Representations to US over US Naval Vessel's Entry into Waters near Relevant Islands and Reefs of China's Nansha Islands

2015/10/27

On October 27, 2015, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui summoned US Ambassador to China Max Baucus, making stern representations and lodging strong protest over US naval vessel's entry into waters near relevant islands and reefs of China's Nansha Islands.

Zhang Yesui stated that the USS Lassen sent by the US illegally entered waters near relevant islands and reefs of China's Nansha Islands regardless of China’s repeated stern representations and exhortations in recent years. This action by the US naval vessel threatens China's sovereignty and security and puts the personnel and facilities on the islands and reefs at risk, which is a serious provocation to China. The Chinese side hereby expresses strong dissatisfaction and opposition.

Zhang Yesui noted that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. China was the first to discover, name, develop and operate on the Nansha Islands. It is also the first country that exercised and has been exercising sovereign jurisdiction over the Nansha Islands. The Chinese side respects and safeguards the freedom of navigation and over-flight in the South China Sea to which all countries are entitled under international law, but stands firmly against the harm caused by any country to China's sovereignty and security under the cloak of navigation and over-flight freedom. There has been and will be no obstruction to navigation and over-flight freedom in the South China Sea. The US exercises a show of force in the name of safeguarding navigation and over-flight freedom, which is very likely to trigger a navigation and flight accident. This act, which not only threatens the rights of navigation and over-flight shared by all countries, but also harms peace and stability in the South China Sea, is extremely irresponsible.

Zhang Yesui expressed that the Chinese side is steadfast in safeguarding its territorial sovereignty and lawful and justified maritime rights and interests. The Chinese side will take all necessary measures as needed to firmly respond to any deliberate provocation by any country.

The Chinese side strongly urges the US to take China's solemn representations seriously, cherish the overall peace and stability in the South China Sea, treasure the hard-won momentum of positive development in China-US relations, refrain from any actions detrimental to China's sovereignty and security interests, and honor its commitment of not taking sides on disputes over territorial sovereignty so as to earnestly maintain China-US relations and regional peace and stability.

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