A US vessel was tracked and warned by Chinese aircraft and ships after it came close to reefs that China claims in the South China Sea. The sea is the subject of messy rival territorial claims with countries like Vietnam, Philippines, and China, disputing the sovereignty of nearby waters and island chains. The main issue seems to be jurisdictional and territorial rights to exploit the areas’ vast reserves of gas and oil.
Although officials from the US claimed that the ship had not breached any limits, the Chinese Ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai stated in an interview indicated that the move by the US was a grave provocation in both military and political fronts expressing a strong discontent over the matter. He went further to report that he thought the entire move was a transparent attempt to militarize the region. Agitated by the whole incidence, he also said that it was hypocritical and absurd to ask other people not to militarize the area while the US was sending Navy Warships now and then.
The same stern message came from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who went ahead to warn of dire consequences to any country that wants to raise tension or create trouble. Lu Kang, who is the military spokesman said that if any country was trying to use gimmicks to prevent or interfere with the way that China Engages in legitimate, legal and reasonable activities in its territories, they should snap out of the fantasy. The Chinese military spokesman also echoed the same thoughts on what he termed “ An abuse of navigation freedom.”