DOD warns Chinese about military exercises, missile launches in South China Sea

"The PRC’s actions, including missile tests, further destabilize the situation in the South China Sea," the Pentagon declared in a statement.

Updated: August 27, 2020 - 4:47pm

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The Defense Department on Thursday warned the People's Republic of China for carrying out military exercises with ballistic- missile launches in the disputed South China Sea, calling them "counterproductive" when it comes to successfully "maintaining stability."

"Conducting military exercises over disputed territory in the South China Sea is counterproductive to easing tensions and maintaining stability. The PRC’s actions, including missile tests, further destabilize the situation in the South China Sea," the Pentagon declared in a statement about China's activities that started on August 23 and will run through Saturday.

China's recent actions represents a breach of the nation's commitments in the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, the U.S. said.

"Such exercises also violate PRC commitments under the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea to avoid activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability, and call into question its motivations with ongoing negotiations for a Code of Conduct between China and ASEAN," the Defense Department declared.

China's move also contradicts its commitment to refrain from engaging in the militarization of the South China Sea and runs counter to America's goals for the area, according to the Pentagon.

"The PRC’s actions stand in contrast to its pledge to not militarize the South China Sea and are in contrast to the United States' vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, in which all nations, large and small, are secure in their sovereignty, free from coercion, and able to pursue economic growth consistent with accepted international rules and norms," the U.S. said in the statement.