Chinese defense spokesperson slams U.S. "willful trespassing"

(Xinhua) 11:10, May 31, 2024

BEIJING, May 30 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese defense spokesperson on Thursday slammed the United States for conducting "willful trespassing" in the name of "freedom of navigation" with the purpose of meddling in regional affairs and maintaining its hegemony.

Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense, made the remarks in response to a media query regarding the recently released Freedom of Navigation Report for Fiscal Year 2023, which stated that U.S. forces operationally challenged 29 different "excessive maritime claims" advanced by 17 different countries and regions, including China, during the period from Oct. 1, 2022 through Sept. 30, 2023.

The so-called U.S. narrative of "freedom of navigation" is a fallacy, Wu said, noting that it is untenable for the United States to make an issue of "freedom of navigation" in the South China Sea when the region is regarded as one of the world's freest and safest for navigation.

"The true purpose of the United States is to use it as an excuse for meddling in regional affairs and maintaining its own hegemony," he said.

The Chinese side always respects the freedom of navigation and overflight entitled to various countries under international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; however, there is a huge difference between navigation and trespassing, and between freedom and willfulness, Wu said.

He urged the U.S. side to respect the sovereignty and security of regional countries and to stop provoking trouble.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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