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China calls on US to stop naval surveillance

CHINA'S Defense Ministry urged Washington yesterday to stop US Navy vessels from conducting activities in China's exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea.

"We urge the United States to respect our legal interests and security concern," ministry spokesman Huang Xueping said in Beijing.

Huang's comments came after the White House, the US State Department and Pentagon accused Chinese ships of harassing the US Navy's Impeccable in international waters on Sunday.

"China cannot accept the groundless US accusations," Huang said.

He said the US Navy vessel, which was conducting "illegal surveying" activities in China's exclusive economic zone without China's permission, violated international and Chinese laws.

"China has lodged a solemn representation to the United States," Huang said.

"China conducts normal activities of law enforcement in its own exclusive economic zone to defend its rights and interests, and such activities are justified and lawful," he said.

"We demand that the United States take effective measures to prevent similar acts from happening," he said.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman also commented on the issue, saying, "The US claims are gravely in contravention of the facts."


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