China Makes Demands on US Forces to Leave Area

China: China makes demands on a US surveillance aircraft flying its travel route near the Fiery Cross reef area in the South China Sea, telling the plane to leave the area on Thursday. The Chinese navy dispatcher told them they had the right to monitor the ocean and airspace around the disputed islands, which are known as the Spratly Islands.

China has been conducting a huge reclamation program in the South China Sea, however, some of this territory is also claimed by five additional nations, including the Philippines, which is allied with the US. US sources say these artificial islands in the South China Sea are being used by the Chinese to restrict travel in the air and by sea in that region. The other four countries disputing the ownership of the islands include Vietnam, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Singapore.

China Makes Demands, Claims Indisputable Sovereignty of Disputed Islands

In answer to questions regarding the incident where China makes demands on US aircraft, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hong Lei, restated China’s indisputable sovereignty claim over these artificial islands in the South China Sea. He announced that this allows them to watch over and patrol the area so they can preserve China’s national security and prevent maritime accidents. The US’s Secretary of State John Kerry, in return, has pressed China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi to do something that would help to lower the tension in the area and come up with some sort of diplomatic answer to the problem, which is affecting travel in the region.


U.S. Doesn’t Agree With Chinese Claims in Area

The U.S. said that it is making the air surveillance missions because they don’t agree with China’s claims of sovereignty of these disputed islands due to the fact that they are doing their construction in an area over 600 miles from the mainland.

The U.S. says that this area is actually international territory because international law says that a country can only claim ownership of an area up to 200 miles from the mainland when they are a member of the United Nations Law of the Sea, of which China is a member. This means that if China makes demands on the U.S. or any other country, not to cross over into the disputed area, that they are making false claims that are not valid.