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China protests US plane’s ‘breach into no-fly zone’

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PLA Air Force flies a bomber to conduct island patrols over the South China Sea in this file photo taken on Nov 23, 2017. Xinhua

China protests US plane’s ‘breach into no-fly zone’

The Chinese military strongly protests a high-altitude US spy plane trespassing into the no-fly zone that is currently hosting a live ammunition drill by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Northern Theatre Command, Ministry of National Defence spokesman Senior Colonel Wu Qian said in a statement on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, a Lockheed U-2 high altitude reconnaissance aircraft trespassed into the no-fly zone, and “seriously disrupted China’s routine training activities”, Wu said, adding that the manoeuvre also seriously violated Sino-US maritime and flight safety codes and international norms.

He said: “The incident can very easily lead to misunderstanding and misjudgement, and may even lead to an accident. It is also a blatant act of provocation that China resolutely opposes.”

Wu said China has urged the US to stop similar provocations, and take concrete actions to maintain regional peace and stability.

According to local maritime safety administrations, China is currently hosting military drills in three of its adjacent waters, including the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea and the South China Sea.

The exercise in the Bohai Sea, which is the northwestern and innermost gulf of the Yellow Sea bounded by the coastlines of Hebei, Shandong and Liaoning provinces, began on August 21 and ends on Friday. The drill in the South China Sea began on Monday and ends on Saturday.

The PLA Eastern Theatre Command said on Monday that its naval aviation units recently conducted full-day exercises in the East China Sea.



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