China slams provocative U.S. naval moves, invocation of UNCLOS

(Xinhua) 10:12, May 18, 2024

BEIJING, May 17 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese military spokesperson on Friday slammed a U.S. military vessel's recent "provocative moves," stating that the U.S. side's invocation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) reveals its hegemonic nature.

Zhang Xiaogang, a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense, made the remarks at a press conference in response to a media query about U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey's sailing through the Taiwan Strait and trespassing into China's territorial sea.

"The U.S. military vessel sailed through the Taiwan Strait, trespassed into the territorial sea and internal waters of China's Xisha Qundao, and publicly hyped the move. The Chinese side strongly deplores and firmly opposes this and has lodged solemn representations with the U.S. side," Zhang said.

"Xisha Qundao is China's inherent territory. The Chinese government released the baselines of the territorial sea of Xisha Qundao as early as 1996. What we did was in line with international law and practices," he said.

"The U.S. side is not a State Party to UNCLOS, but it has repeatedly invoked the Convention to make an issue of it, and even sent military vessels to intrude into the territorial sea and internal waters of Xisha Qundao," Zhang noted.

"Such provocative moves violate China's sovereignty, threaten our national security and undermine regional peace and stability. They are typical behaviors of hegemony," he said.

"The People's Liberation Army will remain on high alert, take resolute countermeasures against any infringement and provocations, and firmly safeguard our national sovereignty and territorial integrity," he added. 

(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Wu Chaolan)


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