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China voices “resolute opposition” to US-Philippines joint patrols

China today voiced “resolute opposition” to the US-Philippines joint patrols in the South China Sea, saying the “harmful” move will flare regional contradictions and damage peace and stability in the disputed territory.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spelled out China’s stance after the Pentagon said that US-Philippine joint patrols in the South China Sea will occur “regularly”.

The ministry said China expresses “resolute opposition against infringement of China’s sovereignty and security by any country in any form”.

“The military exchanges … should not target a third party, not to mention supporting some countries to provoke China’s sovereignty and security, flaring regional contradictions and damaging regional peace and stability,” the Foreign Ministry told state-run ‘China Daily’.

“The joint patrols between the United States and the Philippines in the South China Sea has led to militarisation in the region, which is harmful to regional peace and stability,” said a statement of the Chinese Defence Ministry.

The statement came after the US said yesterday it had launched joint South China Sea patrols with the Philippines and that 275 troops and five attack aircraft will remain in the Philippines temporarily.

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