China warns against US-S Korea joint naval drills



China warns against US-S Korea joint naval drills Beijing: China Friday warned against any military acts in its exclusive economic zone without its permission as the US and South Korea prepare for joint naval exercises in the Yellow Sea this weekend in a show of strength against belligerent North Korea, Beijing's close ally.

"We hold a consistent and clear-cut stance on the issue. We oppose any party to take any military acts in our exclusive economic zone without permission," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement.

The comment came as the US and South Korea are to launch a joint naval exercise on November 28 amid heightened tensions after North Korea shelled a South Korean island on Tuesday.

The military drill was announced after shelling in waters off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula, leaving four people dead.

US and South Korea have asked China to use its influence over North Korea to reduce tensions. China is opposing the drill, saying it would exacerbate tensions.

China asked all parties to help ease tension, safeguard peace and stability in Korean Peninsula and the region.

"As the Korean Peninsula situation is highly complicated and sensitive, all parties concerned should stay calm and exercise restraint," Hong said.

Meanwhile, North Korea today warned that US-South Korean plans for military manoeuvres put the peninsula on the brink of war, and appeared to launch its own artillery drills.

PTI