To calm its allies, the US stepped up its presence, while Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made significant strides in building strategic partnerships with the Philippines and Vietnam.
Vietnam, a fellow claimant protested against the move.
“Our concern is that to begin flight operations at a new airfield in a disputed area is only going to raise tensions and threaten regional stability,” said John Kirby.
China’s Defense Ministry demanded that Washington immediately take measures to prevent such incidents and damage to relations between the two nations’ militaries
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav and Chinese ambassador Le Yucheng shared opposing views on the contentious issue of South China Sea on Saturday.
The two US bombers on December 10 flew into the airspace near an island and reef of Nansha Islands (Spratly islands) claimed by China and Vietnam.
Warships, submarines, early warning aircraft and fighter jets were deployed in exercises that occurred over a “range of several thousand kilometres”, the People’s Liberation Army Daily said.
Commander Admiral Scott Swift urged nations, like China, to seek arbitration to settle maritime disputes.
“So we hope the relevant side does more to enhance mutual trust among regional countries, and thus benefit the regional peace and development,” Hua said.
Singapore and Washington stressed the need for a strong US military presence in the region, where the plane was deployed yesterday and will remain until December 14.
Officials say Vice Minister of Defense Kenji Wakamiya was in Ishigaki on Thursday to explain to mayor Yoshitaka Nakayama a plan to deploy about 500 ground troops on the island beginning in 2019.
Deputy Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin reiterated China’s position that its construction of artificial islands in the sea was designed to “provide public service” to the region.
“For the sake of regional stability the claimants should halt reclamation, construction and militarisation of disputed areas,” Obama said at a meeting.
The Pentagon did not confirm the incident but said there was an effort by Chinese controllers to reach out to one B-52 bomber.
Xi said some “Chinese” islands are currently being “occupied” by other countries, but vowed that China’s intentions were peaceful. “What we in China believe… is that the strong and rich should not bully the weak and poor,” he said.