|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Remarks on the US Military Aircraft Flying Near the Nansha Islands|
Q: The US media reported that US B-52 bombers mistakenly flew into airspace near relevant islands and reefs of China early on December 10. The US Defense Ministry official said that there was no intention of flying into relevant airspace, bad weather had contributed to the flying off course and into China's airspace, and they are looking into the incident. What is your comment?
A: China's Ministry of National Defense had made a statement on this incident. The Chinese military had been closely monitoring the activities of the US military aircraft while staying on high alert and warned the aircraft to leave.
The Chinese side takes this incident seriously and has lodged solemn representations with the US side. The US side replied that they would look into the matter.
It is worth pointing out that China respects and upholds freedom of navigation and overflight wherever all countries are entitled to in accordance with international law, but will never allow anyone to undermine China's sovereignty and security interests under the pretext of navigation and overflight freedom. We once again urge the US side to reflect upon and correct its mistake, take effective measures to prevent similar dangerous and provocative actions from happening, and stop doing anything that hurts China's sovereignty and security interests as well as peace and stability of the South China Sea.