China urges US, Japan not to flex muscles on South China Sea
Updated: 2015-11-26 18:58
BEIJING -- China on Thursday urged the United States and Japan not to show off military might and create tension in the South China Sea.
Japan's Defense Minister Gen Nakatani and Admiral Harry Harris, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, agreed to continue joint drills between the US military and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, as well as helping Southeast Asian countries increase their capabilities.
"We call on relevant countries to do things that contribute to peace and stability on the South China Sea and refrain from flexing muscles, creating tension or militarizing the area," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular news briefing.
Also on Thursday, China's Defense Ministry warned the US not to send military vessels again to Chinese territory in the South China Sea, after US infuriated China by sailing warship USS Lassen to waters near Zhubi Reef in a so-called freedom of navigation patrol.
"There is no problem with freedom of navigation. We urge the US not to be provocative under this pretext," Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said when answering a journalist's question about possible US freedom of navigation operations in South China Sea.
"The Chinese military will take all the necessary measures to safeguard national sovereignty, security and maritime rights," Wu added.