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“Once again we are calling on the American side to take effective actions in order to avoid such incidents in the future. The Chinese military forces will responsibly fulfill their duties and strongly defend the national sovereignty and security, ” the ministry said Saturday.
The defense ministry added that the US aircraft was carrying out reconnaissance activities on Thursday near the Hong Kong’s airspace.
“Chinese Air Force conducted a friend or foe identification checking in accordance with the rules, the operation was carried out professionally and safely,” the ministry added.
According to the ministry, the increasing presence of the US military forces in the South China Sea is a threat to Beijing’s sovereignty.
China and several US allies in the region — namely Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines — have competing claims to the maritime borders and responsibility areas in the South China and East China seas. In January 2013, the Philippines formally initiated arbitration proceedings against China’s claim on the Spratly Islands, also known as the Nansha Islands, with the the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling out in 2016 that the islands were not an exclusive economic zone for China. However, China refused to recognize the tribunal’s ruling.
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