China military exercises in South China Sea will 'further destabilise' the situation: Pentagon
It further said that carrying the military exercises will further "further destabilise the situation" in the disputed area claimed by Taiwan, Vietnam, and China
The Pentagon on Thursday expressed its concern about China's decision to conduct military exercises in a disputed island in the South China Sea, noting the act will "further destabilise" the situation.
"The Department of Defense is concerned about the People's Republic of China (PRC) decision to conduct military exercises around the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on July 1-5," the Pentagon, in a statement, said, reported AFP.
It further said that carrying the military exercises will further "further destabilise the situation" in the disputed area claimed by Taiwan, Vietnam, and China.
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The Pentagon also reminded Beijing of its "commitments under the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea", which called for avoiding "activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability."
It also said that the activities are a part of a long list of Chinese acts "to assert unlawful maritime claims and disadvantage its Southeast Asian neighbours in the South China Sea."
Urging all the parties to refrain from military activities, the Pentagon said it will continue monitoring Chinese military activity.
China considers a major part of the South China Sea, including the Paracels as its own territory, claims that the US rejects.
Washington and Beijing's relations hit a new low following the outbreak of coronavirus, where the Trump administration blamed China for hiding information about the deadly virus.
The US has also cut its ties with the World Health Organization (WHO), accusing the health agency of shielding China.