July 14, 2010 09:32
China on Tuesday reaffirmed its opposition to a joint South Korea-U.S. maritime exercise despite sweeping changes to the plan that would spare Beijing the sight of some of the biggest U.S. ships.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang commented on a Chosun Ilbo story that U.S. ships could be deployed in the East Sea for the drill, instead of the West Sea as originally planned.
He said that there is no way to confirm the story. "Our position is clear as we've already said. We'll closely watch developments. Korean issues can't be fundamentally resolved by military means. Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and regional stability must be sought in a way that promotes reconciliation and peace, not damage the interests of the countries in the region and aggravate discord," he added.
In a press briefing last Thursday Qin said China "resolutely opposes foreign warships and fighter jets entering, and flying over, the Yellow [West] Sea and adjacent waters and engaging in activities that affect China's security interest."
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