Beijing refutes allegations of unauthorized trespass into Palau’s waters
China has denied claims its ships had intruded into Palau’s territorial waters after the Pacific island nation demanded more U.S. military patrols, citing threats from Beijing.
On Thursday, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin insisted that Chinese ships abide by international law when asked about allegations that Chinese ships entered Palau’s exclusive economic zone without permission several times this year.
“The Chinese vessel sheltered from the wind in the relevant waters and did not conduct any offshore exploration or survey activities,” Wang said.
The official added that Beijing has “Require Chinese ships to exercise the right to freedom of navigation and carry out scientific research activities in strict accordance with the law.”
Earlier Thursday, Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr. told reporters he would welcome an increased U.S. military presence around his country, citing an alleged Chinese incursion.
He thinks the move is “About preparation,” added that washington was “very clear” In the case of “continuously” Committed to improving safety in Palau.
“We believe in the philosophy of peace through strength, presence is deterrence … I know everyone is concerned about escalation [of regional tensions]…if we don’t show any strength, then we become vulnerable,” Whipps Jr. said there was a call for more U.S. Coast Guard troops to be deployed.
In recent weeks, the United States has concluded or renewed security agreements with several Pacific island nations, including Papua New Guinea, Micronesia and Palau. Officials have sought to increase U.S. influence in the region after Beijing struck a key military and development deal with the Solomon Islands last year, stoking anxiety in Washington.
The United States reopened its embassy in the Solomon Islands earlier this year after closing it decades ago, the State Department said, given China’s “Growing influence” and concerns about a military build-up in the region.
U.S. Takes Diplomatic Action Against China
In response to the imminent deployment of the United States to Palau, the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs continued to urge the two countries to “Conducive to the peace, development and stability of the Pacific island countries” add that “Security cooperation between nations should not target any third party.”
Beijing and Washington have repeatedly accused each other of raising tensions in the South China Sea and the greater Indo-Pacific region.China denies it has been coercing its neighbors and urges U.S. to back down “Cold War mentality.”
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