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China Protests U.S.-South Korean Exercises; Pentagon Says, Whatever

The U.S. will carry out a series of naval and air exercises with South Korea in the Sea of Japan, located on the east side of the Korean peninsula, and the Yellow Sea, on the west side of the peninsula, near China. The exercises are meant to send a clear message of “deterrence" to North Korea, said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell yesterday, who wouldn’t give a specific date for the exercises, only that they would take place in the “near future.”

Beijing has already voiced their opposition to any joint U.S.-South Korean exercises near their territorial waters. Morrell’s response (prompted by a reporter’s question about Chinese complaints) was basically: Look, once you’re beyond the 12-mile territorial waters you’re in the high seas and “we or anybody else” can do whatever we want.

The aircraft carrier George Washington carried out exercises in the Yellow Sea in October, Morrell said, and, as part of a strengthening of U.S.-South Korean security relations, he fully expects more such exercises, on a regular basis.

“I’m sure the George Washington will operate again in the Yellow Sea. But we’re not in a position yet to announce which assets are going where and when. Suffice it to say we are going to operate in both the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea as a part of these exercises.”
Below is a Google translation of a Liberation Army Daily (Jiefangjun Bao) story from Beijing on July 8. The original story can be found here.

China is opposed to foreign military vessels and planes to China's coastal waters

Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, July 8 - ( Hou Lijun , Zhu Shuang ) Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang at a regular press conference said that China is resolutely opposed to foreign military vessels and planes to the Yellow Sea and other coastal waters of China affect China's security interests in the activities of.

Qin Gang answered journalists questions about the Korea-US joint military exercise , said the Chinese side has expressed serious concern to the parties concerned.

"We firmly oppose the foreign military vessels and planes to the Yellow Sea and other coastal waters of China affect China's security interests in the activities, I hope the parties concerned to keep calm, exercise restraint, do not do things that aggravate regional tensions." Qin Gang said.

South Korean military Joint Staff official Li Peng rain on the 6th at a regular press conference that South Korea and the United States in the Council on the " Tian "was decided after the incident warning ships to conduct joint military exercises.

-- Greg Grant Show Full Article

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