China opposes US-Korea wargames
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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 19:38
Beijing: China on Wednesday said it is very much opposed to the joint military exercise to be held in late July by South Korea and the United States in the Japan Sea and cautioned that it could escalate tensions in the region.

"We firmly oppose foreign warships and military aircraft entering the Yellow Sea and other coastal waters of China to engage in activities affecting China's security and interests," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

"We express concern over the relevant activities. We urge all sides to maintain a cool head and exercise restraint, and not do anything that aggravates regional tensions," the spokesman said.

"China's stance on the ROK (Republic of Korea)-US drills is clear...We will closely watch developments in the situation," Qin said.

Naval and air forces of allies US and South Korea will take part in a series of joint drills next week. The first joint exercise will involve the US aircraft carrier USS George Washington and will start on July 25 in the Japan Sea.

The two sides plan to stage other drills in both the Japan Sea and the Yellow Sea. The July drill is the first in a series designed "to send a clear message to North Korea that its aggressive behaviour must stop", US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and South Korean Defence Minister Kim Tae-Young had said in a joint statement yesterday.

The move comes following the March sinking of a South Korean warship in which 46 sailors were killed. An international investigation blamed it on a torpedo fired from a North Korean submarine near the Koreas' sea border, but Pyongyang has denied the charge.


First Published: Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 19:38

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