The government of China is “deeply concerned about” the reported plan of United States to send military vessels and aircraft within 12 nautical miles of maritime features in Spratly Archipelago to enforce freedom of navigation specifically in features where massive reclamation activities are being conducted by China. US Department of Defense is said to be drafting plans to begin military patrols.
“We are considering how to demonstrate freedom of navigation in an area that is critical to world trade,” a US official said. “The US and its allies have a very different view than China over the rules of the road in the South China Sea.”
Foreign Ministry of China said “we are deeply concerned about the US remarks. The US side must make clarification on this.”
“The Chinese side advocates the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, yet the freedom definitely does not mean that foreign military vessels and aircrafts can enter one country’s territorial waters and airspace at will,” China added.
The communist country also commented on the report that a US Navy littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) conducted a routine patrolling in West Philippine Sea with China’s People’s Liberation Army-Navy guided-missile frigate Yancheng (FFG 546) sails close behind.
“The Chinese side will take resolute measures to safeguard national sovereignty and safety. We will keep an eye on the situation in relevant waters and airspace and respond to any violation of China’s sovereignty and threat to China’s national security,” the Chinese government said.