The Chinese Defense Ministry releases a statement saying personnel from the disputed region went on high alert after a US B-52 bomber takes flight on December 10, and that they repeatedly issued warning demanding the aircraft to leave the area.
However, United States responds to the accusations saying the mission may have stayed off course and that there was “no intention of flying within the 12 nautical miles of any feature.”
Beijing has been using military strength to assert its claims to almost all of the islands in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) including reefs and the surrounding area.
While the United States takes no official stance on the disputed sea, but insists on freedom of navigation. They uses freedom of navigation to assert its right to “innocent passage” in the South China Sea.
”The United States routinely conducts B-52 training missions throughout the region, including over the South China Sea,” Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright said.
“These missions are designed to maintain readiness and demonstrate our commitment to fly, sail and operate anywhere allowed under international law.”
The US has yet to confirm if how many B-52 bomber were involved in the operation but is now looking into the matter, he added.
China’s Defense Ministry demanded the US to take action to prevent similar incident in the future.
“The actions by the US side constitute a serious military provocation and are rendering more complex and even militarizing conditions in the South China Sea.
“In the face of provocative acts from the US side, the Chinese military will take all necessary means and measures to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and security and resolutely safeguard regional peace and stability,” according to the Ministry’s statement.
The latest flying of the B-52s near China’s man-made islands is the latest incident causing friction to the US-China relations.
The United States has been branded by China as “extremely irresponsible” after a US destroyer the USS Lassen sailed near one of China’s artificial island in the South China Sea.