Tuesday 26 January 2021 - 02:21

Beijing Says US Military Presence in South China Sea ’Not Good for Peace’

Story Code : 912409
Beijing Says US Military Presence in South China Sea ’Not Good for Peace’
The strategic South China Sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade flows each year, has long been a focus of contention between Beijing and Washington, with China particularly angered by the US military activity there.

The US only sent the USS Theodore Roosevelt-led carrier group there in the first place in response to heightened recent Chinese military activity - both on the seas and in the air - to the disputed area. The US military said it had taken the action to promote "freedom of the seas."

On Saturday, Taiwan's Defense Ministry warned that up to 15 Chinese aircraft - eight bombers and four jet fighters invaded into its air defense exclusion zone, in a repeat pattern that saw Beijing's air force make 380 similar incursions during 2020.

“The United States frequently sends aircraft and vessels into the South China Sea to flex its muscles,” the foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, told reporters, responding to the US mission.

“This is not conducive to peace and stability in the region.”

China has repeatedly complained about US Navy ships getting close to islands it occupies in the South China Sea, where Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan all have competing claims.

Zhao reiterated China’s position that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China and that the United States should abide by the “one China” principle.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen visited a radar base in the north of the island on Monday, and praised its ability to track Chinese forces, her office said.