China’s top diplomat on Tuesday blamed the United States for creating “difficulties” for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in carrying out normal training exercises, but stressed that the two sides will maintain healthy and stable military relations.
Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai made the remarks in a statement released by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to the U.S. Department of State as the American fleet met the Chinese fleet on Sunday in the South China Sea.
“China resolutely opposes the actions of the United States as interference in China’s normal exercises, as an inappropriate military provocation that creates difficulties for our two militaries,” Cui said.
“China does not intend to take hostile actions and is willing to cooperate with the United States to promote world peace and stability,” Cui said.
Cui added that China and the United States have agreed to continue to maintain contact regarding the issue.
China and the United States are in disagreement over China’s land reclamation campaign in the South China Sea, which the U.S. has criticized as a violation of international law.
The U.S. accused China of reclamation of more than 1,000 acres over the past year in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, where China has also established artificial islands to boost its military presence.