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May 18, 2024
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Chinese Defense Ministry Spokesman Zhang Xiaogang: We Strongly Deplore American Ships Passing Through The Taiwan Strait Near Xisha Islands; This Is A Typical Hegemonic Practice That Undermines Regional Stability; The PLA Is On High Alert To Counter Any Provocations

#11112 | 01;53
Source: CCTV (China)

Chinese Defense Ministry Spokesman Zhang Xiaogang said in a press conference aired by CCTV Video News Agency (China) on May 18, 2024 that China "strongly deplores and firmly rejects" U.S. ships passing through the Taiwan Strait and particularly in the area of the Xisha Islands (Paracel Islands, a disputed archipelago in the South China Sea). He said that this constitutes "trespassing" into China's internal and territorial waters and that it is a "deliberate provocation" that undermines regional peace and stability, sending the "wrong signal" to the Taiwan independence movement. He added that this is a typical example of "hegemonic practices" and that the PLA remains on high alert at all times to resolutely counter any "infringement and provocation" against China's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Zhang Xiaogang: "China strongly deplores and firmly rejects the U.S. ship passing through the Taiwan Strait and trespassing into its internal waters and territorial waters around Xisha Islands while hyping up the move in the meantime. China has made serious representations with the U.S. side, and the spokespersons of the Eastern Theater Command and the Southern Theater Command have also responded to the matter.

"Under the current situation across the Taiwan Strait, the U.S. is undermining regional peace and stability through deliberate provocations, stirring trouble, threatening China’s sovereignty and security, and sending the wrong signal to ‘Taiwan independence’ forces.

"Xisha Islands are China’s inherent territory. The Chinese government announced the territorial sea baseline of Xisha Islands as early as 1996. The relevant practices conform with international law and international practice. The United States repeatedly cited the UNCLOS but is not a party to the Convention. It even sent its warship to trespass into China’s internal waters and territorial waters around Xisha Islands. This is a provocative action that violates China’s sovereignty, threatens China’s national security, and jeopardizes regional peace and stability.

"It is a typical example of hegemonic practices.

"The above-mentioned wrong actions by the U.S. are not conducive to maintaining the recovering trend of relations between the two countries and the two militaries. The People’s Liberation Army remains on high alert at all times. We will resolutely counter any infringement and provocation, and resolutely safeguard our national sovereignty and territorial integrity."

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