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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Remarks on US Warship's Uninvited Entry into Chinese Territorial Waters off Xisha Islands

2016-10-21

Q: A US Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS Decatur, sailed near Zhongjian Dao of China's Xisha Islands. What is China's comment on that?

A: In accordance with the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone and regulations of relevant international law, foreign warships must ask for approval of the Chinese government before entering Chinese territorial waters. The US warship did so without approval of the Chinese side, and thus infringed upon China's sovereignty and security interests, violated relevant Chinese law and international law and disrupted peace, security and good order of the relevant waters. We oppose and condemn that. Chinese naval vessels and planes took immediate action in response and warned the US warship away.

The US side shows no respect for sovereignty, security and maritime rights of coastal states and conducts the so-called "freedom of navigation" operation in other country's territorial waters in violation of international law. It is highly irresponsible and provocative. The US behavior of creating and sensationalizing tension also runs counter to regional countries' shared aspiration for peace, cooperation and development. We warn the US to reflect upon its policy, urge them to respect and abide by Chinese law and international law, stop provocative actions that damage China's sovereignty, security and maritime rights, and make more efforts to promote mutual trust with China and peace and stability of the region. The Chinese side will continue to monitor closely the situation in relevant waters and airspace and take all necessary means to defend China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights.

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