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Iran Press TV

China blasts US meddling in regional sea disputes

Iran Press TV

Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:54PM GMT

Beijing has blasted Washington's irresponsible warnings over the Chinese government's move to declare a new air defense zone in the South China Sea.

At a press briefing on Monday, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said foreign officials should reflect carefully on their stances regarding China's legitimate rights before making such comments.

'We hope that relevant countries and officials can stop making irresponsible comments,' the spokeswoman said.

The reaction comes after the US Pacific Air Force commander described China's new territorial claims as very provocative.

This is the latest in a series of Washington-Beijing rows after China declared an air defense zone over East China Seas in November.

The US says China's new air defense declarations have created insecurity and instability in the region. Beijing, however, denies this and defends the moves as its sovereign right.

China says foreign aircraft passing through the airspace, including passenger planes, will have to identify themselves to Chinese authorities. The zone includes the skies over islands at the heart of a territorial dispute between Japan and China.

Beijing's declaration of the air defense zone sparked concerns in the Far East, and also triggered protests from the US which is a close ally of Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.

China is also locked in territorial rows with the Philippines over wide swathes of the South China Sea and has said it might set up a similar zone there.

Senior Chinese officials have repeatedly called on Washington not to take sides over the issue.

JR/AB/SL



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