China urges US to end military surveillance near its shores

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Beijing, Aug 28(ANI): After a series of territorial disputes between China and US earlier this year, China has urged US to reduce, and eventually end the military surveillance, which it does by both aircraft and ships near its shores.

The Chinese Ministry of National Defense made the request during a session about maritime safety involving the countries on Thursday, which came after both the countries agreed to resume military relations during the two-day Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SAED) held in Washington in July.

"China believes the constant US military air and sea surveillance and survey operations in China's exclusive economic zone led to military confrontations between the two sides," The China Daily quoted a ministry official, as saying.

"The way to resolve China-US maritime incidents is for the US to change its surveillance and survey operations policies against China. Decrease and eventually stop such operations," the official added.

Chinese ships have confronted US surveillance ships near its territory on five occasions.

Meanwhile, spokeswoman at the US Embassy in China Susan Stevenson, confirmed the report about the request, and said that US government position has not changed.

Stevenson further supported an earlier statement made by US Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy, which said that the US "exercises its freedom of navigation while putting emphasis on taking care to avoid any unwanted incidents".

The US says that waters 12 miles from China's shoreline are open to shipping, while China says that US should not venture without permission inside its 200-mile exclusive economic zone. (ANI)

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