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China lashes out at U.S. B-52 flyby over South China Sea

Arirang News
Arirang News
Now for a look at stories making headlines around the world….
Tensions between the United States and China are escalating once again after two B-52 bombers flew over the hotly contested South China Sea.
For more on this and other international news we turn to our Ro Aram…
Aram… how has China responded to the flyover?

Well Mark… Tuesday's B-52 flights over the Spratly Islands elicited a defiant response from Beijing's foreign ministry.
The so-called "freedom of navigation" exercise came just days after U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis accused China of "intimidation and coercion" in the South China Sea.
Speaking at a regular press briefing on Wednesday, spokeswoman Hua Chunying fired back at those claims…

"I hope the U.S. could clarify the dispatch of the B-52 bomber, an aggressive strategic weapon, to the South China Sea. Is it militarization? Is it to safeguard the freedom of navigation? If someone fully-armed shows force or stakes out at your doorstep from time to time, won't you raise your vigilance and enhance defense ability?"

The U.S. and China have frequently blamed each other for causing military tensions in the South China Sea - a region where Taiwan, Brunei and the Philippines among others all have competing claims.
Hua urged the U.S. to stop stirring up trouble, adding China was not scared of America's military muscle.

"I have several pieces of advice to the US. Firstly, stop hyping up the so-called Chinese militarization. Stop talking lies. Secondly, stop stirring up troubles in the South China Sea. It is risky to be a bully and dangerous to stir up troubles. Thirdly, China will not be deterred by any military warships or planes. We will take all necessary measures to safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as peace and stability in the South China Sea. "

The Pentagon said Tuesday's flyover was part of a training mission from its base in Guam.
It has repeatedly claimed it has the right to conduct "freedom of navigation" operations in the region.
While Mattis had said the exercises would continue, he added that the U.S. will continue to pursue what he called a "constructive" and "results-oriented" relationship with China.

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