China calls for restraint as U.S., ROK plan military drill

21:01, July 15, 2010      

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China on Thursday called for calm and restraint to avoid escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula in response to a possible naval drill by the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK).

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang made the remarks at a regular news briefing, saying China hoped the actions of all parties would contribute to the security, mutual trust, friendship, peace and stability of the region.

Qin reiterated China's opposition to foreign warships or aircraft entering the Yellow Sea area and adjacent waters to engage in activities that would affect its security and interests.

In answer to a question on whether China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) would plan a military exercise if the ROK and the U.S. carried out their drill this month, Qin called the hypothesis "a typical Cold War mindset."

"The hypothesis means dividing the Northeast Asia and Asia-Pacific regions into different military alliances and viewing regional security from an angle of opposition and confrontation, as in the Cold War era," said Qin.

"Times have changed," said Qin. "No single country or military alliance can resolve issues like regional security and stability."

All countries in the region needed to work together, and strengthen mutual trust and cooperation through dialogue, so as to maintain regional security and stability, Qin said.

The anti-submarine drills were originally scheduled for last month in a response to the sinking of the ROK navy vessel, Cheonan, which left 46 crew dead, in March.

The ROK announced in May that the warship was torpedoed by a submarine of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), but the DPRK immediately denied involvement, saying the investigation results were fabricated.

Seoul's Ministry of Defense confirmed Thursday the joint South Korea-U.S.joint naval drill was expected to be staged this month, starting in waters off the country's east coast.

According to the ministry, the exact date of the drill will be decided next week when defense and foreign ministers of the two countries meet in Seoul at so-called "two-plus-two" security talks.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates will visit Seoul next week to discuss the bilateral alliance.

Source: Xinhua


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