Pentagon report dismissed
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.