Thursday, July 28, 2011

China protests US spy flights

An American spy plane (file photo)

Source: Press TV

China has called on the United States to stop flying its spy planes near the Chinese coast, saying the move has severely damaged the trust between Beijing and Washington.

"We demand that the US respect China's sovereignty and security interests and take concrete measures to boost a healthy and stable development of military relations," the Chinese Ministry of National Defense said in a statement, AFP reported.

The comments came after reports said two Chinese fighter jets attempted to scare off an American spy plane over the Taiwan Strait in late June.

The report said the American plane was collecting intelligence on China.

Relations between China and the US have become strained over a number of issues.

China has already reduced its military cooperation with the Pentagon over the USD 6.4-billion US arms sales to Taiwan, which China considers as part of its territory.

Beijing has in response imposed unspecified sanctions on US firms selling weapons to Taiwan.

Meanwhile, China is reportedly developing game-changing stealth aircrafts and advanced naval missiles that can pave the way for ending the US dominance at sea.

A powerful military could also revolutionize China's role in the Pacific balance of power and would make it risky for the US to intervene in any potential dispute over Taiwan or North Korea.

Experts say it could also deny US ships' safe access to international waters near China's 18,000-kilometer-long coastline.

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