Pen­tagon re­port dis­missed

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China on Tues­day urged the United States to show re­spect for other coun­tries’ sovereignty and se­cu­rity. For­eign Min­istry spokesper­son Hua Chun­y­ing made the state­ment at a reg­u­lar press brief­ing when asked to com­ment on an an­nual free­dom of nav­i­ga­tion re­port re­leased by the US Depart­ment of De­fence (DoD) on Mon­day. Ac­cord­ing to the DoD Free­dom of Nav­i­ga­tion Re­port for the Fis­cal Year 2015, the US mil­i­tary con­ducted “free­dom of nav­i­ga­tion” op­er­a­tions against 13 coun­tries and re­gions last year, in­clud­ing China, In­dia and In­done­sia. The DoD said on its web­site that th­ese op­er­a­tions aimed to pre­serve the rights, free­doms, and law­ful use of the sea and airspace guar­an­teed to all na­tions un­der in­ter­na­tional law. US free­dom of nav­i­ga­tion op­er­a­tions last year chal­lenged China’s claims of ju­ris­dic­tion over airspace above the Ex­clu­sive Eco­nomic Zone(EEZ) and re­stric­tions on for­eign air­craft fly­ing through an Air De­fence Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. “We have taken note of the US re­port,” said Ms Hua, adding that the aim of the DoD free­dom of nav­iga- tion pro­gram was, in essence, to ad­vance the US uni­lat­eral propo­si­tion by force and co­er­cion, by bran­dish­ing its naval and air power.

In 1979, the United States es­tab­lished the Free­dom of Nav­i­ga­tion pro­gramme be­fore the sign­ing of the UN Con­ven­tion on the Law of the Sea (UN­C­LOS), said Ms Hua, adding that its aim was to safe­guard the US mil­i­tary’s max­i­mum free­dom and ma­neu­ver­abil­ity to en­ter the oceans of the world and chal­lenge the new mar­itime or­der as a non-sig­na­tory of the 1982 UN­C­LOS.

Hua Chun­y­ing.

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